Rachel Cope



JSS 3.1

Past News

JSS 3.1 Hermeneutics of Trust vs. Hermeneutics of Doubt: Considering Shaker Spirituality

by Professor Rachel Cope, Brigham Young University, USA
Journal for the Study of Spirituality 3, no. 1, 2013, pp. 56-66

This article uses the Shaker revival period, also known as Mother’s Work, to examine different interpretive approaches that can be used by scholars of religious history and spirituality when studying a particular group or event. It contends that a hermeneutic of doubt reduces religious experiences (and the believers committed to them) to something distant and ‘other’, while a hermeneutic of trust enables scholars to reconstruct religious worldviews. Such an approach thus allows one to capture better the way believers approached, experienced and shared, and described spirituality.

To read the full article, click here.