Perrin, “The Bible Reading of Young Evangelicals”

Perrin, Ruth H. 2016. The Bible Reading of Young Evangelicals: An Exploration of the Ordinary Hermeneutics and Faith of Generation Y. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Publisher’s Description:  Young evangelicals in Britain often find themselves at odds with an increasingly secular society, and yet the tradition persists and in some places flourishes. Sociological studies into the faith of this demographic group are rare, yet there is much to be explored as to how their faith functions and how it compares to other groups globally. Similarly, given the privilege evangelicals afford the biblical text, how young believers engage with the ancient Scriptures they understand to be “the word of God” is particularly significant. This work addresses that core question. How do young evangelicals make sense of the Bible today? Based on qualitative data gathered from three diverse evangelical churches it compares the reading priorities, ordinary hermeneutics, and theological concerns of young adults. Presenting age-related focus groups with challenging biblical narratives, the study compares strategies for negotiating the texts based on age, gender, and churchmanship. It provides a unique insight into the realities of Bible reading and the faith of “Generation Y” and gives food for thought not only to those with scholarly interests, but also those with a pastoral concern to shape and sustain the Christian faith of young adults in Britain and beyond.

Davie-Kessler, “‘Discover Your Destiny’: Sensation, Time, and Bible Reading among Nigerian Pentecostals”

Davie-Kessler, Jesse. 2016.  “Discover Your Destiny”: Sensation, Time, and Bible Reading among Nigerian Pentecostals. Anthropologica 58(1):1-14.

 Abstract: Pentecostal Christians in southwest Nigeria claim to experience divine revelations of personal destiny by reading scripture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, this article argues that members’ sensual reading practices are entangled with perceptions of time. Church members use bodily experience to construct a near future that they understand as continuous with the lived present. To examine the production of embodied religious temporality, I use a stage-based analysis of Pentecostal hermeneutic development. Church members gradually progress from “beginning” to “advanced” stages of Bible reading, generating new relationships to the self and to a Christian cosmology.

Durbin, “For Such a Time as This”

Durbin, Sean. 2012. “For Such a Time as This”: Reading (and Becoming) Esther with Christians United for Israel.

Abstract: A great deal of work on contemporary Christian Zionism focuses on the apocalyptic eschatology of premillennial dispensationalism, critiquing it from an idealistic perspective that posits a direct line of causality from “belief” to action. Such critiques frequently assert that since Christian Zionists are biblical literalists, they read apocalyptic texts such as Revelation and Ezekiel with the goal of making the events they find predicted in these books come about in the world. This article takes a different approach. Although many Christian Zionists can be considered “literalists,” they read themselves into the text typologically. Special attention is paid to the book of Esther which is shown not to function primarily in a prophetic or apocalyptic role, but as a tool to help Christian Zionists understand political action, construct identity, and strengthen faith.