Tuesday, 28 July 2015
Canon & Community: A Guide to Canonical Criticism,
James A. Sanders, Wipf and Stock, 2000, page 62
Sanders believes it should be possible to derive a hermeneutical range within which exist those practices it is fair for a believing community to use today to address new problems. This is very similar to the Jewish halachic process. In particular, addresing the use of allegory, Sanders says:
For instance, since there is so amazingly little allegory used by biblical tradents (distinct from post-biblical expositors), it may be that we should decide that use of allegory today is suspect and violates the inherent constraints within canonical texts.
That is radical! While ackowledging that Paul's allegory in Galatians 4:21-26 is precisely that, Sanders says:
It should be noted that much of what has been called allegory in the Bible is really either typology (e.g., the Epistle to the Hebrews) or simply analogy (e.g., the parable of the sower) ... One wonders if true allegory is not rare, at least in the Western canons, and if it needs to be located and identified carefully and perhaps eventually circumscribed in usage today. It certainly needs controls, and further work may indicate what the controls should be.
Augustine - I think you've just been called on that!