Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

Engaging Jungian function-orientations in a hermeneutical community: Exploring John 11: 1–17

Leslie J. Francis, Greg Smith, Adam J. Stevenson, Andrew Village
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 1 | a8632 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i1.8632 | © 2023 Leslie J. Francis, Greg Smith, Adam J. Stevenson, Andrew Village | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2023 | Published: 20 December 2023

About the author(s)

Leslie J. Francis, Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; and, World Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU), Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Greg Smith, World Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU), Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, United Kingdom; and Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa, South Africa
Adam J. Stevenson, World Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU), Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, United Kingdom; and Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Andrew Village, Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and School of Humanities, York St John University, York, United Kingdom

Abstract

Working within the sensing, intuition, feeling, thinking (SIFT) approach to biblical hermeneutics, the present study invited a hermeneutical community of 23 type-aware participants to explore the account of the Death of Lazarus as reported in John 11: 1–17 within type-alike groups differentiated according to the participants’ dominant function-orientation. Five groups were constituted differentiating: introverted sensing, introverted intuition, extraverted intuition, introverted and extraverted feeling and introverted and extraverted thinking. These five groups generated distinctive readings of the narrative that were characteristic of the individual type preference.

Contribution: The SIFT method, situated within the reader perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, is concerned with attending to the influence exerted by the psychological type profile of the reader on interpreting the text. The present study goes beyond previous work by comparing the responses of five hermeneutical communities (each distinguished by a different dominant function-orientation) to the same passage of scripture.


Keywords

reader perspective; psychological type; SIFT method; psychology and Bible; function-orientations

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