Heaven on Earth? (click here for conference details)
Theological interpretation of Scripture is becoming a common practice, both among Catholics and evangelicals. For some, this may seem like the arrival of heaven on earth. Others, however, have critiqued the recent trend toward theological interpretation for being too theologically or heavenly minded and for not doing justice to the historical, earthly realities of which the text speaks.
What is 'spiritual interpretation?'
According to Regent scholar, Hans Boersma, "Theological reading is a reading of Scripture that goes beyond merely looking for the historical meaning of the text. This kind of reading maintains that our Christian beliefs shape the way in which we read Scripture. In the Middle Ages, this led to the notion that there were four levels of meaning: the historical, the allegorical (referring to Christ and the church), the tropological or moral (teaching us how to live), and the anagogical (referring to the eschaton). Among Catholics, Henri de Lubac has been a pioneer of reintroducing such a 'spiritual' reading of the text, while among Protestants, Karl Barth is often regarded as recognizing the limits of historical critical exegesis and advancing more theological approaches.