Original Research

Is God really good to the upright? Theological educators exploring Psalm 73 through the Jungian lenses of sensing, intuition, feeling and thinking

Leslie J. Francis, Susan H. Jones, Christopher F. Ross
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 1 | a6171 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i1.6171 | © 2020 Leslie J. Francis, Susan H. Jones, Christopher F. Ross | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 May 2020 | Published: 08 December 2020

About the author(s)

Leslie J. Francis, Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit, University of Warwick, Warwick, United Kingdom; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Susan H. Jones, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Christopher F. Ross, Martin Luther University, Waterloo, Canada


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Abstract

Psalm 73 is a challenging Psalm in which the Psalmist draws on rich imagery to juxtapose doctrine and experience and to juxtapose the goodness of God with divine retribution. Drawing on data provided by 15 theological educators within the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, this study tests the thesis that the imagery of Psalm 73 will be perceived differently by sensing types and by intuitive types and that the issue ‘Is God really good to the upright?’ will be judged differently by feeling types and by thinking types. The findings from this study are consistent with the broader hermeneutical theory that the psychological type profile of the reader, in terms of perceiving preference and judging preference, plays a formative part in shaping the interpretation of biblical material.

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 theological educators read Psalm 73.


Keywords

biblical hermeneutics; reader perspective; psychological type; SIFT; empirical theology

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