Anglicanism often prides itself on being a via media, a “middle way” where diverse viewpoints can commune. This “middle way” creates the ideal environment for Scriptural Reasoning, a practice where Christians, Jews, and Muslims gather to read, listen and reflect on sacred texts side by side in order to foster deeper understanding across faith traditions. The Center for Anglican Communion Studies will hold monthly Scriptural Reasoning sessions this academic year, in collaboration with the Rumi Forum.
I learned about Scriptural Reasoning early during my junior year here at VTS. The method is simple: bring members from each of the Abrahamic faith traditions together to engage with thematically linked excerpts from their respective scriptures. From there, one can not only learn how each scripture is interpreted in its own tradition, but also wade through the richness of the different holy texts first-hand. In these sessions, Christians can hear the Hebrew Scriptures in a new light, Jews can encounter the beauty of the Qur’an, and Muslims read familiar characters depicted in new Biblical ways. The possibilities for exchange are endless and are sure to be a boon to the VTS Community.
This past April, I had the opportunity to facilitate a Scriptural Reasoning session on campus alongside the Rumi Forum. Almost fifty participants representing each faith were present for a rich evening of exchange. You could feel the electric presence of the Holy Spirit as we learned the language of each other’s scriptures. I am thrilled that CACS has decided to partner with the Rumi Forum to provide more students with a chance to participate in this important work.
I pray that my colleagues and professors will take advantage of this unique way to step outside one’s own tradition while simultaneously diving deeper into one’s own faith. Scriptural Reasoning represents the best of what the “middle way” has to offer a chance to meet the stranger, be the stranger, and to grow in tandem through the power of Scripture and community.
Aaron R. Dunn, M. Div. ‘24
Postulant, Episcopal Diocese of Washington