Given the views of Harari and Berger, what does it mean to say that we live in “imaginary” and “constructed” worlds and what are some implications of their views on how one might understand religious beliefs, practices, and texts? What is your critical response to the idea that we live in worlds constructed out of the collective human imagination?
What exactly does it mean to be “alienated” or “dealienated,” as Berger describes these terms, most especially as such perspectives apply to understanding religion and the Bible? Reflect on this question: would you say that you are alienated or dealienated, as Berger describes these terms?
BORG CHAP 1
Discuss critically the beliefs and perspectives of the two main Christian groups that you learned about in the reading and presentations. What did you learn about disagreements among Christians about how to see and read the Bible? In this context, what do we mean by “natural” and “conscious literalism.”
List, describe, and offer your own critical response to the features of the older way of seeing Christianity that you learned about in the reading and presentations.
Why, given our current cultural context, do some believe that the older way of seeing Christianity needs to be “re-visioned”?
BORG CHAP 2
Summarize and offer a critical response to the argument for seeing the Bible strictly as a human product and why it cannot be both human and divine. How does Berger’s understanding of alienation and dealienation relate to this issue?
In the conclusion of the chapter, Borg offers three Concluding Metaphors for Seeing the Bible. List, discuss, and offer your own critical response to the meaning of each of these metaphors, incorporating, where relevant, what you read and learned about in the sections that preceded this conclusion (“The Bible As …”).
BORG CHAP 3
Explain what is meant by the “historical-metaphorical approach” to reading the Bible, including a discussion of the definitions, justifications, and limitations of each feature of this approach.
“In the rest of this chapter, I have two purposes. The first is to suggest that the Bible is a combination of history and metaphor and therefore requires this [historical-metaphorical] approach. The second is to illustrate the kind of reading that results from this approach” (p. 44). Explain what Borg means when he says that “that the Bible is a combination of history and metaphor” and offer your own critical response to Borg’s illustration of “the kind of reading that results from this approach.”