Scriptural Reasoning

What is it?

Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a practice of interfaith text study. Small groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and sometimes people of other faiths, gather together to read short passages from their scriptures, study them and discuss their personal, subjective responses to them in a respectful way.

Why?

We all approach texts through the lens of our own background, religious, social, ethnic, and so on, and this heavily influences how we read our own religious texts as well as those of others. It can be very interesting to hear how others read these texts and explore and unpack the reasons behind those differences. The practice often leads to valuable insight into our own tradition and greater comprehension of other faiths. Inevitably, disagreements and differences come up and rather than suppress them, Scriptural Reasoning provides a platform through which those differences can be explored respectfully.

How?

We have a community of over 150 people interested in Scriptural Reasoning on our mailing list, we aim to run 3 major events per year and several smaller ones aimed at introducing SR to particular places of worship but open to all. We put together a panel of 3 speakers, one from each of the Abrahamic faiths, who read or recite the texts and discuss them briefly. After a coffee break, the panel join the other participants and we discuss the texts in small, mixed faith groups using printed text packs for around an hour. After that there is an opportunity to present any feedback to the whole room.

At the moment we lack the necessary resources to provide a facilitator for each small group, but we ask that participants adhere to a handful of rules:

  • Participants should speak as individuals and not on behalf of their entire faith as there is diversity of opinion within faiths.
  • Proselytising and encouraging conversion have no place within SR sessions.
  • Members of a particular faith are often very attached and feel quite protective over the scriptures and important figures belonging to that faith. It’s fine – and encouraged – to ask questions but very important to do so in a respectful manner and bear in mind the feelings of the other person throughout the dialogue.

Please Rachel Godfrey to join our mailing list and receive regular updates.