New Testament scholar and ecumenist, the Rev. Dr. Peter-Ben Smit (Th.D. ’11), has recently published a new study, From Canonical Criticism to Ecumenical Exegesis?, and has announced the fourth edition of the successful Summer School in Old Catholic Theology at Utrecht in the Netherlands. In his new book, Smit addresses the interrelationship between canonical approaches to Scripture and ecumenical hermeneutics. By exploring and comparing the role of the canon in the work of Brevard S. Childs, James A. Sanders, Peter Stuhlmacher, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and the Amsterdam School of exegesis, he offers a broad overview of approaches and perspectives within the spectrum covered by canonical criticism.
In doing so, both the theory of canonical criticism offered by each of the five is analyzed, and a sample of an actual exegesis is discussed. Observing that the interplay between text, reader, and community of interpretation is key to all of these approaches, the study proceeds to create a dialogue between canonical criticism and ecumenical hermeneutics, which leads to a proposal for an approach to exegesis that integrates elements of canonical hermeneutics, ecumenical hermeneutics, and intercultural perspectives.
Smit’s successful Summer School in Old Catholic Theology is a week-long course offered in the birthplace of Old Catholicism, Utrecht, in the Netherlands. Offered from July 3-8, 2016, it provides a unique opportunity for getting to know the life, liturgy, history, and theology of the longest-standing communion partner of The Episcopal Church, one established by the Bonn Agreement in 1931. The Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht are members of the World Council of Churches and seek to take an inclusive stance on matters of gender and equality, while witnessing to this in their ecumenical dialogues. For Episcopalians, this course is a good way for getting to know like-minded Christians in the “old world.” More information can be obtained from the course’s website, Facebook page , or contact Prof. Smit directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.