Original Research

Exploring Psalm 73:1–10 through sensing and intuition: The SIFT approach among Muslim educators

Leslie J. Francis, Ursula McKenna, Abdullah Sahin
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 3 | a6093 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i3.6093 | © 2020 Leslie J. Francis, Ursula McKenna, Abdullah Sahin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 May 2020 | Published: 02 October 2020

About the author(s)

Leslie J. Francis, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ursula McKenna, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Abdullah Sahin, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

A group of 20 Muslim educators participating in an M-level module on Islamic Education were invited to explore their preferences for sensing and intuition (the two functions of the Jungian perceiving process). They were then invited to work in three groups (eight clear intuitive types, four clear sensing types and eight individuals who expressed less strong preferences) to discuss Psalm 73:1–10, specifically addressing two distinctive perceiving questions: What do you see in this description (sensing) and what ideas does this passage set running in your mind (intuition)? Clear differences emerged between the ways in which sensing types and intuitive types handled these two questions. The intuitive types relished the opportunity to chase after ideas and to make connections. The sensing types stuck more closely to a literal analysis of the text and felt much less confident in chasing after ideas and making connections. These findings support the thesis that scriptural interpretation is shaped, at least to some extent, by the psychological type preferences of the reader.

Contribution: Situated within the reader-perspective approach to biblical hermeneutics, the SIFT method is concerned with identifying the influence of the psychological type of the reader in shaping the interpretation of text. The present study demonstrates that this theory holds true for the way in which Muslim educators read Psalm 73.


Keywords

biblical hermeneutics; Muslim educators; Islamic education; reader perspective; psychological type theory

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Crossref Citations

1. Reading the wedding at Cana in Galilee (Jn 2:1–11) through the lenses of introverted sensing and introverted intuition: Perceiving text differently
Leslie J. Francis, Adam J. Stevenson, Christopher F.J. Ross
HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies  vol: 77  issue: 4  year: 2021  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v77i4.6858