The Unresolved Conflict Over Revelation in American Protestantism: Reshaping Congregational Practices through Revelatory Teaching-Learning
The unresolved battle over revelation in American Protestantism crystalizes in the debate between Harrison Elliott and James Smart in the 1940‘s and 1950‘s. The arguments of Elliott in his book, Can Religious Education Be Christian? and Smart’s The Teaching Ministry of the Church concerning their views on scripture and revelation are brought into conversation with theologians and religious educators Paul Tillich, Martin Buber, and Gabriel Moran in order to develop pedagogical tools, particularly in bible study and preaching, to help overcome this conflict. Moran imagines an alternative understanding of revelation that offers a fundamental critique to both Elliott and Smart. This alternative understanding creates opportunities for reshaping a solution to this conflict through the creative tensions and connectivity of teaching/learning. As congregations today navigate the rough waters of declining attendance, the critique of “spiritual but not religious”, and the demands of articulating Christianity in a multi-faith, global context, the issue of revelation and the implications for inter-religious, theological and church education are profound.
Senecal-Davis, Barbara E, "The Unresolved Conflict Over Revelation in American Protestantism: Reshaping Congregational Practices through Revelatory Teaching-Learning" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10189345.