The church in the West has subsisted for five hundred years in a state of ever-increasing multiple identities, many of which claim to be the best representation of the church established by Christ. Often attending novel models of the church are new scriptural interpretive methods that support theological claims. Rarely, however, has an exploration been undertaken to test the impact of this ecclesiological division on the reading of the Bible. A Darkened Reading explores the specific case of the nineteenth-century Church of England and competing interpretations of the book of the prophet Isaiah - a book of great importance in theological history - as a kind of parable of the existential anguish the church has experienced as a consequence of being torn apart.
Robert L. Knetsch is Adjunct Professor at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto.
Preface Introduction: The Problem of Exegesis in A Divided Church 1 The Scriptural Hermeneutic of Early Anglicanism: A Touchstone 2 The Breakdown of Uniformity: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth- Century Competing Intra-Anglican Scriptural Visions 3 Robert Payne Smith: Rescuing Isaiah from its Opponents 4 The Politics of Division: Christopher Wordsworth and the High Church Exegesis of Isaiah 5 Skepticism is the Truest Piety: Thomas Kelly Cheyne and the Broad Church Exegesis of Isaiah 6 English Roman Catholicism and Isaiah: Exegetical Minimalism in a State of Siege 7 Conclusion: The Despair of Ecclesial Biblical Retrieval Bibliography Index