Of Fathers and Daughters - Biblical Studies as a Multi-Faith, Pluralist, and Multi-Cultural Project

Michael Carden


The essay argues that biblical studies is a unique area for inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue and enrichment. The biblical narratives provide sacred stories for at least three of the world religions. The paper explores Jewish, Christian and Islamic interpretations of the incident in Genesis 19 where Lot offers his daughters to the Sodomite mob and by comparing these interpretations highlights moral failings in the dominant Christian interpretive tradition. The essay argues that by recognising the biblical narratives as a multi-faith shared scripture, biblical studies can become grounded in principles of appreciation and respect for pluralism and diversity. These principles can be applied not only across traditions but also within traditions to ensure all voices have a chance to speak, especially those that might be silenced for not conforming to rigid orthodoxies including those based on gender, class, ethnicity, or sexuality.

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