Methodological Foundations: Analysing Religious Narrative

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Religious Studies book series (BRIEFSRESTU)


This chapter will build on the preceding chapter in fleshing out the conceptual notions outlined therein and grounding them in methodologies designed specifically to uncover and convey the essential meanings attached to religious texts and narratives. The so-called ‘Ehrman Method’ of the biblical scholar, Bart Ehrman, will serve to represent the many scholarly efforts in Judaism and Christianity to broaden understanding of Jewish and Christian texts that take them beyond narrative literalism. Mohamed Talbi, the Muslim historical theologian, will serve to represent important scholarly efforts in the present day to address the texts of the Qur’an and other Islamic sacred sources in ways that go beyond narrative literalism and invoke higher levels of cognitive interest. Finally, the archetypal work of Muhammad al-Tabari will be introduced as a means of establishing that this most crucial narrative about Islam’s origins, including its sacred texts, was from the beginning one with far greater significance than could be contained by a narrative literal genre. It can never be fully appreciated unless the cognitive interests directed to meaning-making and self-reflectivity are impelled; its challenge was always that it should be understood by way of a form of second naiveté.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia
  2. 2.University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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