Posted by: riverchilde | April 20, 2012

Your brain on the Bible

According to brain research on how we process stories, “narratives offer a unique opportunity to engage [the] capacity [to navigate interactions with other individuals], as we identify with characters’ longings and frustrations, guess at their hidden motives and track their encounters with friends and enemies, neighbors and lovers. It is an exercise that hones our real-life social skills…” (For those of you with short attention spans or limited time–yeah, I know, who doesn’t this apply to–skip to the second page of the article for the best stuff.)

Which make me consider the many ways in which this information applies to the Biblical narrative. While this is not to say the Bible is “fiction” per se, it is a book filled with narrative, stories and dramas about people, the social world and God’s interactions with them. In what ways might we read the Bible more fully if we think of it as providing to its contemporary readers an understanding of how to effectively negotiate not just the tricky social world, but how to “weigh the myriad interacting instances of cause and effect” when an active personal God is part of the complexities of social life? (Please pardon my liberties with the article’s original text as I chew this idea over.) And then, of course, how does that translate to our own personal narratives at the intersection of the social, personal and divine?


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