chapter  7
26 Pages

Interpreting worldviews

Attending to the interpretation of worldviews takes us beyond a basic religious literacy, which might be defined as understanding how religious language works in general and how it relates to different conceptual interpretations of experience.The particulars of this were analysed in Chapter 6.To be able to dialogue with worldviews is to understand the conceptual bases on which worldviews are constructed and ways in which those concepts are interpreted differently by differing groups of believers. Indeed it also involves understanding why some concepts are held dear by some believers and radically changed or even dismissed by others; the idea of priesthood in Christianity would be a case in point. Importantly, however, it is the distinctive and particular concepts that pertain to a tradition that reveal the originality of its mentality, what we have referred to as type C concepts. These were presented for some of the main traditions in Chapter 5,Appendix 5.1 (see pp. 112-118).Therefore, to understand and engage with a particular worldview you must engage with it on the level of these concepts, not more generic ones.Also, since these concepts are not simply literal statements but ones, in the case of religious worldviews at least, that often demand figurative understanding and abstract thinking pointing to some transcendent idea of truth, they can be challenging. Beyond this the concepts together represent a pattern of ideas that combine into an original interpretation of human experience.Therefore, it is grasping how the concepts work together that constitutes the overall ambition of the project.Within the levels of attainment, provided in Chapter 5,Appendix 5.2, this begins as an expectation at level 5 and becomes an ever more refined requirement from then on. This expectation has, generally speaking, not been present in RE previously and radically refines the way in which planning and expectations need to be considered.