This week we decided to tackle an issue that often comes up in discussions with people about the meaning of religious texts. Believe it or not, some people of faith sometimes label us as fundamentalists! Why? Because we seemingly read the Bible and the Qur'an too literally. If fundamentalism equates engaging in a literal interpretation of the Bible, then we can ask people if there are parts of their texts that they do not read literally, and if so, how do they determine what should be to understood literally or symbolically? One quickly realizes that people have no clear criteria on how to interpret their religious texts; it is all a matter of preference, and people develop the art or cherry-picking. We notice that texts that are more difficult to accept are either ignored or interpreted allegorically, and theological meaning is often given in order to sustain the Bible's or Qur'an's relevance. The problem with such an approach is that people are reading between the lines and not really reading the text. They are simply creating another story which sustains their own theological inclinations.
Please note that this will be our last podcast of 2014. We are taking a short break during the holidays and will be back with more exciting episodes on January 12, 2015. We want to thank all our listeners for a fantastic year and wish all a wonderful holiday season!