An examination of Phenomenology and its relationship
to the Christian concept of revelation.
answers a few questions posed by Ian Mobsby on his essay.
Essay as PDF: An
examination of Phenomenology and its relationship to the Christian concept
you explain why you got interested in Phenomenology?
Phenomenology was a new area to me and one of the modules on offer at
Nottingham uni I was attracted to it because of my wider interest in epistemology
(how we know stuff) and in defending and communicating the Christian faith
in today's world. I saw in phenomenology both challenges to but also insights
which coincide with a Christian worldview.
am aware that a lot of Emerging Church writers have expressed an interest
in this area and the connection with contemporary culture. I am thinking
of Kester Brewin and Nic from Vaux in London and Pete Rollins in Northern
Ireland. Is there a connection for you?
am aware of the work of Pete Rollins through Greenbelt festival and his
book: 'How not to speak about God', which I refer to in my article. My
article is in part a response to Rollins thought which engages with phenomenology
in a way more consistent with a traditional understanding of revelation
and scripture. (I gave Pete an old version of the essay at Greenbelt this
why did you look at revelation from a phenomenological perspective - what
was the interest?
I began to see that trying to build a framework for knowledge starting
entirely with the human ego has limitations. its like the film the matrix
- we need information from the 'outside!' Having said that I also saw
that God reveals certain insights through human consciousness which have
been highlighted by phenomenologists which can be helpful for us as Christians
- eg that we only know anything against the background of something hidden.
This shows is that God hides himself in order to reveal! I found this
an exciting idea.
is kind of a scary book - used by a few nutters in the world. Why Revelation?
Ok. Let's clear up that misunderstanding - I'm not here talking about
the Book of Revelation - interesting though that is, but about the doctrine
of revelation in theology - in other words how God has revealed himself
to his world - through nature and through specuial means such as Scipture