Each of these three terms / referents refers to the same book – the Bible – but with different connotations. [Notice the progression of thought with word meanings.] By way of comparison, we remember here the difference connotations of the term Jerusalem as the city itself, as the city of David and as of Zion.
Bible – a collection
The NT together with the OT is called the Bible – a collection of writings. The word Bible is descriptive; “here are these books.” The Bible is more of an empirical term – the Bible. That’s what it is. There is another term that is more theologically-loaded, the term Scripture.
Notice that Bible and Scripture refer to the same thing – this text, this Bible. Still, the two words are making different points. Bible comes from ta. bibli,a biblia which means books/scrolls. Thus the word Bible accents the word scrolls meaning the word Bible accents the fact that you have a collection of books (written by various authors).
Scripture – is inspired by God
The Bible is also for Christians sacred Scripture. Whereas the word Bible says it’s a collection of books, use of the word Scripture makes an additional claim than simply using the word Bible does not. Using the word Scripture to describe the Bible indicates that these books within the Bible are special and different from other writings because they were divinely, inspired as holy Scripture. These writings were inspired and given by God. Thus, when referring to the Bible as Scripture, you are making a theological claim about the Bible, a claim that within this diversity of these various books that they were all given by God in order to tell this one message.
So the word Scripture will be used when talking about the Bible within a theological context. Scripture, as such, is more of a confessional term, a faith term, used to describe the Bible as these writings which were given by God in order to illumine and guide us. Using the word Scripture when talking about the Bible is a Christian affirmation that the Bible is the Word of God and the revelation of God.
Therefore, Bible is more of a neutral term, and Scripture is a confessional term.
Whether one believed in the Bible or not, they would still acknowledge that that book was still called the Bible. For instance, a skeptic or unbeliever would call the Bible “the Bible” but a skeptic would not use the word Scripture to refer to the Bible.
Canon – is authoritative
The word canon also refers to the Bible but from a different viewpoint. canon comes from kan,wn kanon /canon meaning rule, norm, measure, measuring stick or guide. Therefore, use of canon means that for Christians this Scripture is their guide, their rule, their measure for what they believe and how they live. That is, when using the word canon to describe the Bible, you are making a hermeneutical claim that the Bible is this theological authoritative rule and guide for Christian teaching, faith and life – your measure for what you believe and how you live your life etc. In other words, using the word canon to describe the Bible is to refer to the authoritative character of these books for Christians.
The word canon is also used in a secondary sense to speak of the specific collection of books that make up that authoritative guide – those books which have been received into the canon of Scripture. We have the 27 books that make up the NT canon. You have 4 gospels, not 20. You have these specific Pauline letters and not other letters.
So why these books and not others? What was the historical process involved in coming up with these specific 27 writings? See below.
So the Bible is a collection of writings that are also Scripture – writings inspired by God – writings that are also authoritative (the canon).
This leads to another important question – the question of hermeneutics. But before talking about hermeneutics, we must first know more about exegesis.
Exegesis vs. Eisegesis vs. Superficial Reading of the Bible
Exegesis is the illumination / interpretation of the full and precise meaning of any passage in the Bible in its historical and literary context. Exegesis comes from the (very picturesque) Greek word meaning to draw out. Therefore, with exegesis you draw out the full meaning of the passage; you unpack and illumine what Scripture means. For instance, what do the gospels say within their literary, historical context? Exegesis helps us read the text in it proper context in order to really understand what the author intended to say. Exegesis is a scholarly and historical discipline which seeks to properly interpret the meaning within the gospel’s historical and literary context.
We do exegesis by looking at the text’s literary context. How does the text fit into that book of which it is a part?
We do exegesis by looking at the text’s historical context. What did the author mean to convey in the original, historical context?
Exegesis has two great enemies: 1. eisegesis and 2. superficial reading of the Bible. When you rightly study the Bible, you use exegesis. Our Bible comes to us in the Greek and I’d be a rather poor tour guide for the Bible if I were not able to read it in the Greek. Still, we have some very good English translations of the Bible. Therefore, the Bible is accessible to all. Thus, anyone can become a wonderful student of the Bible even without a knowledge of the ancient Greek.
Therefore, we exegete the Bible; we draw out of the Bible what it has to say to us rather than reading into the Bible what you expect it to say. We draw out in order to get the full meaning of the author. The Bible has some incredible things to say that are different from the way we sometimes think. Thus, exegesis draws out that meaning.
1. Eisegesis is enemy “Number One” of exegesis. Eisegesis comes from the Greek word meaning to lead in, to take passages out-of-context, to purposely read an unintended meaning into the text. We are to avoid eisegesis which is reading into the text what we want the text to mean. We are not to read our own thoughts into Scripture. Leading in presupposes bringing in our own ideas of what we think the Bible is going to be saying instead of drawing out what it is actually saying.
2. The other great enemy of exegesis is superficial reading of the Bible in which circumstance by not reading the Bible carefully enough, we come away with a bare bones, superficial reading that will ultimately lead us astray from the full meaning of the text. Superficial readings fail to approach Scripture in a scholarly and academic manner. An example of a superficial reading would be to read Mk 1 1 and not understand the depth of the meaning of the various words there such as gospel or Christ. And it would be a superficial reading of Mk were one to do so without understanding the story that lies behind the gospel of Mk – the story behind the Story.
Most people read their Bibles superficially because they fail on both of these counts. That is, they fail to properly understand what the individual words mean but even more so they fail to make the proper connections back to the OT story. As soon as we are able to distance ourselves from superficial readings of the Bible, we’ll find that the text is saying something so much more exciting and surprising than we had ever before known was there all along.
How then should one approach the Bible?
The question of hermeneutics
This whole question of how one approaches the Bible is the big question of what is called hermeneutics. All exegesis, all interpretation takes place within a proper theological context. “What, then, is the proper context for interpretation?” This is the question of exegesis: “What does the Scripture mean within its proper historical and literary context?” The authority of Scripture is expressed by the theological term hermeneutics – the science of interpretation and how one does exegesis.
Before even beginning exegesis, hermeneutics asks these questions:
How should one approach the Bible? How should I read the Bible?
In what context should we approach and interpret Scripture? What is the proper context for exegesis?
What is the theological authority of the Bible in one’s life and why? What is the authority of Scripture for me or the church and how does that authority function?
With what attitude of heart and mind should I approach the reading of Scripture? What does it mean for me?
For example, the use of the word Scripture says hermeneutically that these writings are inspired by God. And as another example, the use of the word canon says the Bible is this authoritative guide for Christian teaching, faith and life. Hermeneutics is sort of catch-all term term saying everything we’ve just said so far in this discussion. We begin with the understanding that each text has two parts:
the utterance and what it means and
the context and the authority of that utterance for us.
In other words, exegesis asks the question ‘what does the Bible say and mean?’ while hermeneutics asks the questions ‘what is its significance for me and my life?’ and ‘what’s its authority for me and all humanity?’
Hermeneutics is crucial as we see in the following two examples.
All the fun is in actually interacting with the Bible and doing this exegesis of Scripture.
So also in marriage. All the joy and pleasure of marriage is actually living marriage each day, not contemplating the context in which you took your marriage vows. It’s living the marriage. But, the context in which you took and understood your marriage vows, that is the hermeneutical context for your marriage, is going to absolutely determine how you live your marriage every single day. On a sit-com of a few years ago when you got married the vows they exchanged were as long as we both shall love which is different from the traditional vows of as long as we both shall live. Depending on which of these two vows you took will determine how you live with your spouse. That’s the hermeneutics of marriage.
As another example you’ve been sleeping and you hear a voice yelling “Follow me, now!!!”
Exegesis tells you what that command means. Exegesis, proper interpretation, your knowledge of the English language and the idioms of the English language tell you three things. First, that’s a command. Two, it’s urgent. Three, it’s very imperative. You have to make a decision. It’s now or never. You are supposed to follow that person right now. That’s the exegesis portion of the equation.
On the other hand, the hermeneutics involves the context of that utterance. Have you just awaken after being hit on the head by a fallen beam in a fire, and those words are being said by a rescuing fireman? Or, have you just awaken from a nap in a park and the words are being said by a rather seedy looking guy opening the door of a van? Or, have you just awakened from a nap in a park from a megaphone announcement calling everyone in the park interested to a certain event in the park?
Notice, that you cannot opt out of hermeneutics. Well, in the third example you can opt out because it really doesn’t crucially matter in your life whether or not you go to the event. That won’t be a life or death matter. However, in the first two cases it may well be life or death. In each case it depends on whether or not you follow the command.
So, hermeneutics is important. It’s important in everyday life to know the context of the utterance and how we are to approach what is being said to us and, on the basis of who is saying it, how much more important it is for something as crucial as Scripture. The context is very important for interpretation. Hence, before even discussing exegesis, we have to discuss the question of hermeneutics.
Hence, the authority of Scripture is very important for we Christians, and, as such, we are to approach the Bible in a manner fitting with the unique and special authority Scripture has in our lives.
Approaching the Bible – the question of hermeneutics
Hermeneutical approaches to the interpretation of Scripture
Exegesis tells us what Scripture means in its historical, literary context, whereas hermeneutics tells us how we should approach Scripture.
So what was the precise relationship between “the Twelve”, Paul, the earliest apostles and eyewitnesses and Jesus? These relationships played a key role in everyone’s discussion as to their hermeneutical stance toward Scripture and things of faith.
The questions of hermeneutics would include:
With what attitude of heart and mind should one approach and read Scripture? What is the relevance of Paul or the other biblical authors for my own world view? What does the Bible mean for me? Where does authority reside for the ultimate truths about God, humanity, the world and so on. What is the authority of Paul’s teaching, Paul’s theology, Paul’s ethics for me, as well as that of the other biblical authors? Where does one go for theological authority? What is the authority of the Bible in one’s life? What is the proper ecclesiastical context for interpretation? What does that mean for me in my life?
These are the questions of hermeneutics – the question of theologically authority. Do I just make it up as I go along? Do I just decide to go along with whatever my culture says? Or do I have an authority? Is the Scripture my authority? How does that fit with the authority of the creeds and so on? That’s the question of hermeneutics. We’re not going to focus on that question in this NT class.
Approaching Scripture (hermeneutics): three paradigms for theology
Paradigm means the overall world view, the overall approach / context with which you come to things, your circle of reference with which you come to the Bible, how everything fits together. Just as we have social paradigms and scientific paradigms, we also have these theological paradigms. All people operate out of one of these paradigms enumerated just below – whether or not they even know they do. My advice would be to learn what each of these paradigms actually is and make a decision about which paradigm will guide your life – your life both now as you live and your new life following Jesus’ second coming. Where do you want to be found when Jesus returns? In everlasting life or in everlasting separation (damnation) from God? That’s a question I recommend you address now rather than waiting until it’s too late. By the way, that’s what Scripture “recommends” that we do as well.
There are basically three major ways (paradigms) which people use when approaching the interpretation of Scripture, for doing theology, for answering the question of hermeneutics. In some ways they are very much the same and in others, they are quite different. We should learn to appreciate the logic lying behind each of these three paradigms. Each, in their own way, follow from a certain starting point and foundation to a logical conclusion. The three paradigms are:
& the Christian theological paradigm within which are the
1. Catholic / Orthodox theological paradigm and the
2. Protestant / Reformation theological paradigm, both of which are vastly different from the third paradigm known as
3. post-Enlightenment paradigm (liberal). See handout in NT notebook.
How one approaches Scripture is distinct between these three paradigms. The first two paradigms operate out of the Christian theological paradigm which has been used from the very beginning of the Church in Christian theology. Briefly, within the Christian theological paradigm you begin with a precommitment to Christian faith, a precommitment focused on the person and teaching of Jesus Christ and his teaching as revealed through his apostles. Also briefly, within the post-Enlightenment paradigm you begin not with a precommitment to Jesus and his teachings through his apostles but with a precommitment to an ideological, philosophical or theological starting point which is drawn from somewhere outside Christ and Scripture, points which differ so much in that they are all over the map.
Note that the designation “Christian” has been left off the third listed paradigm (the post-Enlightenment paradigm) even though most proponents within the post-Enlightenment paradigm consider themselves Christian in some way. That, however, is a controversial matter. In other words, most proponents of the first two paradigms above would say that because those of the third paradigm, the post-Enlightenment paradigm, have jettisoned the core teachings of Christianity, they have gone beyond the bounds of Christianity. Therefore, they are no longer within the Christian orbit. That is, those of the first two paradigms would say that the proponents of the post-Enlightenment paradigm are not authentically Christian. Still, those operating out of the post-Enlightenment paradigm will call themselves ‘Christian’.
However, all would agree that the historic Christian theological paradigm is found in the first two paradigms above – that of the Catholic / Orthodox and that of the Protestants.
Also, and again, proponents of the post-Enlightenment paradigm would contend that theirs is also a Christian paradigm. It’s just not the historical Christian paradigm. Instead, it’s a different perspective (paradigm) that has arisen since the Enlightenment of the thirteenth century.
It’s not just the Christian theological paradigm theology that post-Enlightenment types reject but it’s also the ethical and moral teachings. Hence, oftentimes within the post-Enlightenment paradigm they reject particular moral teachings in Scripture, especially the big issue of our day having to do with sexuality. When those within the post-Enlightenment paradigm talk about the Incarnation and resurrection, for example, they do not these were things that literally happened.
There is a certain logic to their position. For instance, if you believe that Jesus really was God Incarnate within the Christian theological paradigm, then Jesus has to have this ultimate authority. But if you believe that the Incarnation and the resurrection were myths as they do in the post-Enlightenment paradigm, you will very logically look to other sources as the ultimate authority.
Further, the designation of liberal with respect to the post-Enlightenment paradigm has nothing to do with politics. Many of those within the Christian and Protestant paradigms would be liberal politically. But those who are ‘liberal in theology’ are those who adopt things like the post-Enlightenment paradigm. Those of the Christian and Protestant theological paradigms are conservative when it comes to their core Christian teachings regarding the Creeds, the Incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and so on. Those of the liberal post-Enlightenment paradigm don’t hold to such conservative understandings of Scripture and will instead contend that ‘you don’t really need to believe in this or that’. They usually operate out of a very different core of which they are adamant.
The source of authority within the Christian theological paradigm is the apostolic authority based in Jesus’ authority. On the other hand, the source of authority for the post-Enlightenment paradigm is based on something other than Jesus’ authority.
For example, within the post-Enlightenment paradigm you may talk about Jesus in very high terms and maybe even call Jesus the Son of God, but within the post-Enlightenment paradigm that is only meant in a metaphorical sense, in a doxological (that is, ‘praising God’) sense. They don’t really believe that Jesus was God incarnate. They don’t believe that God entered history and acted in history in that way. Nor do they believe that God died and rose from the dead.
When it comes to the Bible, the faith of every person will fall into one of these three paradigms. Like every paradigm, like every important thing we do, the Christian theological paradigm begins with some kind of precommitment to something. Within these paradigms there are different theological positions that are reflected in different Christian traditions. Here in these notes I will use the precise language reflected in numerous hermeneutical studies. And although not everyone uses the exact same hermeneutical terms when talking about hermeneutics, still, the basic concepts cited here will be found in any good analysis of hermeneutics. Therefore, the precise language being used there may not necessarily be the same as is used here.
Within the Christian theological paradigm the authority of Scripture has always been at the center of this paradigm. It’s the way that Christians throughout the centuries have always approached Scripture. The Christian theological paradigm answers the questions, ‘What’s going on when I come to Scripture? What is our source and authority for theology? Is it Scripture alone or is it Scripture, Creed and Church?’
However, this Christian theological paradigm has not gone unchallenged within the history of the Church. True, before the post-Enlightenment paradigm the Christian theological paradigm was all there was. Then, following the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century the post-Enlightenment paradigm arose. The post-Enlightenment paradigm is usually traced back to Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), one of its prime first exponents within theology. And the post-Enlightenment paradigm is also associated with theologians in the so-called liberal wing of Protestantism. Schleiermacher said very explicitly that he couldn’t believe certain things in the Bible. Hence, for him, ‘his reason and his experience’ served as his sources for theological truth about God. Schleiermacher is sometimes called the father of this whole post-Enlightenment approach to theology. He is also sometimes called the father of modern theology, that is, of the post-Enlightenment version of theology.
Hence, while the Christian theological paradigm always had been at the core of the three great traditions of Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, during the time of the Enlightenment, a very different view for theology was born which lived on after the Enlightenment. This post Enlightenment (liberal) approach is still used by many to this day. This approach came about because of the advances in science and technology during the time of the Enlightenment. People saw the world as emerging out of the darkness of ignorance and mystification and believing in miracles and so on. During the time of Enlightenment people believed they were being “enlightened and liberated” from old, false superstitions, and one of those “old, false superstitions” was Christianity. [As such, Christianity really took a hit during the Enlightenment, and many will agree that Christianity has yet to shake off the hit it took, and has been taking every since.]
Because of this so-called enlightenment of the eighteenth century many saw the Bible as saying things that just could not be taken as literally true. For instance, the two, very core claims that are the basis for the Christian theological paradigm – that Jesus is God in the flesh (the Incarnation) and that Jesus rose from the dead (the Resurrection) – can not be literally true in the understanding of the post-Enlightenment paradigm. Therefore, they reclassify them as unhistorical myths. Because of this understanding, Christianity took a humongous hit during the Enlightenment, something that is still deeply ingrained in, impacting and controlling portions of the Church to this very day.
Note: I am putting this in an unvarnished way. Someone talking from within this post-Enlightenment paradigm might not put this so provocatively. They might say “the Bible’s claims cannot be accepted literally” or something like that. They would mean the same thing as what I’ve said, but they are saying ‘the Bible’s claims are not true, that they are not historical, that they didn’t really happen’. Those operating out of the post-Enlightenment paradigm contend that, at best, you can understand the Bible’s claims in some sort of metaphorical sense. In other words, they will say “Well, I can accept the Incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus as metaphors for something else because those things cannot be literally true.”
Hence, the understanding within the people is very different from the Christian theological paradigm in which the ultimate truth is not only knowable but has actually entered into history in the Incarnation. Still, those within the post-Enlightenment paradigm view the Bible as a source of great, ethical wisdom, and that is why those within the post-Enlightenment paradigm study the Bible. But within the post-Enlightenment paradigm the Bible is a flawed human product with conflicting and contradictory theologies. These post-Enlightenment paradigm types contend that many aspects of the Bible’s (including Paul’s) theology and ethics cannot be accepted by modern, enlightened persons. The apostolic revelation of Christ in Scripture, the teaching of Christ and his apostles, as those in the Christian theological paradigm would call it, is thus not the ultimate authority for theology to them. Instead, the apostolic revelation of Christ in Scripture must be critiqued and revised by one’s own thinking and reasoning about and experience of the divine. One must be transcended by higher thinking about the divine and so on.
Influential movements within this post-Enlightenment paradigm approach include: process theology; some feminist theology; eco-feminist theology; and liberation theology. There are, of course, varieties of these theologies, such as feminist theology and liberation theology, that actually work out of the Christian theological paradigm. Still, most of the time those who describe themselves as eco-feminists or liberation theologians are working out of the post-Enlightenment paradigm.
All of these varieties of the post-Enlightenment paradigm contend that Jesus cannot be thee truth – as claimed in the Christian theological paradigm. To them Jesus is just one of many partial, culturally-conditioned, and thus equally valid manifestations of an ultimately unknowable divine reality. In fact, this is the exact view of a very influential theologian, John Hick, who died in 2012. Hick was representative of what is called Christian pluralism. He would say, “Just as in any other religious system, the Christian faith is a human expression trying to express the inexpressible. It’s not the truth but a cultural attempt to grasp the truth by human beings; therefore, it’s no more valid than any other religious statement for faith.”
So we see that within the understanding of the post-Enlightenment paradigm absolute truth is inaccessible. Within this paradigm there are many paths toward the real, the true, but the truth itself is ultimately unknowable. It’s these types that can comfortably, yet very incorrectly say that ‘after all, we all pray to the same God’ … when actually we do not!!!
Though people in the Christian theological paradigm deny that people of the post-Enlightenment paradigm are Christians, still, those of the post-Enlightenment paradigm usually like to call themselves Christian. Hick said he was a Christian “but I’m a Christian of a different way. I don’t believe that Jesus is God, that he was born of a virgin and that he rose from the dead. I believe he revealed a part of the unknowable truth or some aspect of the unknowable truth or something about the unknowable truth just like Buddha does, just like Socrates did, just like Mohammed did.”
Therefore, this is called Christian pluralism because it believes that Christian faith, just like any other faith and philosophy, therefore just reveals some aspect of something of the real and the true because we can’t, Hick contended, get at the real and the true. God, the truth, the ultimate reality – all of these are unknowable within Christian pluralism.
So following the Enlightenment there were people who believed in the Bible in some context, such as for the Bible’s ethics. These people wanted to be part of the Church in some way so they searched for another paradigm for approaching Scripture. Those operating out of the post-Enlightenment paradigm, in effect, said, “We need to start with our own reason, experience and some ideological, theological starting point outside of Scripture which allows us to read Scripture in light of that paradigm. At some point we can accept some things in Scripture. However, there are other things to which our reason and experience are going to have to say, ‘You just cannot accept that.’” It was out of that line of thinking that they then formulated their own theology. Hence, out of this ‘way of thinking’ the liberal, post-Enlightenment paradigm developed. Because of this so-called ‘enlightened’ thinking of the Enlightenment, some in the Church changed the whole way they approached the Bible, and hence, the post-Enlightenment paradigm was born.
[In a sense the post-Enlightenment paradigm goes back to the days of the early Church when Gnostic thought first emerged.] So following the Enlightenment many people believed, including many ‘in’ the Church, that traditional Christian beliefs could no longer be excepted as they had been for one thousand seven hundred years. Many to this day still believe that. And they may be sitting just next to you on a Sunday morning! See broken triangle discussion below.
We see that within the post-Enlightenment paradigm there is a priority of reason and experience over Christ, the Church and Scripture. Reason and experience are the ultimate authority for theology within the post-Enlightenment paradigm. The Bible’s (including Paul’s) teaching can be accepted only when they don’t conflict with reason and experience. That’s why there is no hermeneutical spiral (discussed below) within the post-Enlightenment paradigm but instead only the broken triangle. Your theological starting point, your source of truth, your precommitment is to an ideological, theological starting point outside Christ and Scripture. Therefore, sooner or later, and usually it’s sooner rather than later, your reason and experience must critique Scripture.
So the adherents of the post-Enlightenment paradigm look at the core Christian teachings and say some of them – but not all – are true. Sure, all of them are wonderful and have some sort of metaphorical meaning. For instance, the idea of rising from the dead can symbolize the triumph of life over death but they cannot accept them as literally true because they do not correspond with either modern knowledge or one’s philosophical understanding. Therefore, in the post-Enlightenment paradigm they lay the Rule of Faith and Scripture aside.
These people begin with a different precommitment and read the Bible in light of another ideological / theological starting point outside Christ and Scripture. This other starting point for the post-Enlightenment paradigm types will tell them the things they can accept and the things they must reject. For example, in process theology it’s not possible that God should act within the world. Their concept of God does not allow that so the Incarnation is not really possible. Miracles like the resurrection are not possible. The idea of divine judgment is not possible. Therefore, you either have to reject those things or you have to reinterpret those things and understand them in a different way. Within the post-Enlightenment paradigm one has an entirely different approach for reading the Bible. And that is that within this paradigm your reason and experience must critique Scripture. Once you’ve done that, then you have your theology and your praxis (as noted in the drawing). There is a broken line going back up to Scripture because it’s not always clear within this paradigm whether you go back to Scripture to do exegesis, since it’s not your ultimate source for truth anyway, or, if you do go back to Scripture it’s within a very different framework than that which happens in the Christian theological paradigm.
As you can readily see, the issue between the Christian theological paradigm and the post-Enlightenment paradigm is primarily Christological, that is, “Who is Christ?” In the entire history of the Church that has always been the same issue in play. “Who is Jesus?” Within the Christian theological paradigm we have the very highest possible Christology, that Jesus fulfilled both streams of OT expectation, both that of the human ultimate Davidic king and that of the divine coming of YHWH to Zion. Neither of these within the post-Enlightenment paradigm can be accepted in a literal sense. Those operating out of the post-Enlightenment paradigm understand history as to be leading up to “modern, enlightened persons” who can decide for themselves what is – and what is not. On the other hand, within the Christian theological paradigm history is centered in Jesus and all of those events that happened two thousand years ago, as well as all those events leading up to the Incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Those events are at the center of the universe and all of history. The Enlightenment or anything like it aside, those events always have been at the center of all history, and they always will be in the perspective of the Christian theological paradigm.
Within the Christian theological paradigm exegesis is crucially important – but much less so in the post-Enlightenment paradigm.