Friday, November 18, 2011

Report from the AAR pre-conference meetings

I arrived Thursday afternoon, and have been having a very fruitful set of discussions with colleagues as part of the Society for Scriptural Reasoning pre-conference plenary.

Peter Ochs, the organizer, has characterized the discussions as "the first Abrahamic revival meeting." Our sessions were divided between time spent doing SR around a collection of texts on music, and discussions of the future of SR practice in Europe and North America.

For the music study, we looked at several Suras from the Qur'an, a passage from Chronicles, and a passage from the Book of Revelation. What I found most fascinating (and had not known before beginning the study) is that there is no mention of music in the Qur'an. I found that incredibly surprising, but as time went on, that fact opened up an amazing discussion about the way in which interpretive traditions will insinuate and "read" things into texts that are not literally present, and the hermeneutic problems (and possibilities) that ensue.

This evening I will participate in a second (and unrelated) pre-conference symposium dealing with the upcoming edited anthology from the Liturgical Press's Rock and Theology project, to which I have contributed a chapter.

Exhausting day, but a really good day as well.

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