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Alan Darley
An examination of Phenomenology and its relationship to the Christian concept of revelation.

Alan 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 of revelation.

Can 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.

I 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?

I 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 year!).

So 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.

Revelation 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 ad Christ.



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