Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The power of preconceptions

One final caveat: an interpreter’s preliminary generic conception will color all that is subsequently understood until, somehow, that conception is changed. In the case of the text of Genesis, when an interpreter’s religious values may also be intertwined with the interpretive process, the issue can become even more complex—it becomes all the more difficult for one’s generic conceptions to be altered. All too often, it seems, interpreters’ preliminary generic conceptions of the text (or, religious import) blind them to generic signals in the text. It is a difficult task, then, religious or not, to become alert to a text’s generic signals, referential ambition, and truth claims. We must do our best to allow the text to speak for itself. —Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1-11, pages 20-21

<idle musing>
Virtually impossible as it is...Personally, I think it is only the power of the Holy Spirit that can blast through our preconceptions—and we have to be willing to let it happen. I don't know very many people who are willing to have their preconceptions altered...

It's a miracle that communication happens at all, isn't it?
</idle musing>

No comments: