Theology and the Social Sciences

Robert Morgan and John Barton

in Biblical Interpretation

Published in print September 1988 | ISBN: 9780192132567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670060 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Bible Series

Theology and the Social Sciences

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This chapter discusses the link between theology and the social sciences in biblical interpretation. The social sciences have long had a place in American pastoral and ethical courses, which have usually been oriented to the practice of ministry, and without significant impact on biblical research. But they offer a reminder that biblical interpretation is in principle open to infiltration from the social sciences at two different points: through the methods of historical scholarship, enriched by these new perspectives; and also through the theological interests of the biblical interpreters themselves, whose own theologies are increasingly likely to have been partly shaped by the social sciences. Three examples are presented to clarify the distinction between the way historical methods have been properly enlarged by social-scientific methods and the hermeneutical or theological dimensions of this approach.

Keywords: biblical scholarship; biblical criticism; social science; theology; historical methods

Chapter.  11936 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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