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Arguing over TextsThe Rhetoric of Interpretation$
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Martin Camper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677121.001.0001

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Opening, Closing, and Moving through Interpretive Disputes

Opening, Closing, and Moving through Interpretive Disputes

(p.163) 8 Opening, Closing, and Moving through Interpretive Disputes
Arguing over Texts

Martin Camper

Oxford University Press

Chapter 8 explores how the interpretive stases are logically related to each other and how interpretive disputes are initiated and resolved. The chapter explains how the interpretive stases occur in a predictable, presuppositional sequence in which certain interpretive issues must be resolved or settled before further interpretive issues can be considered. The chapter also discusses what happens when additional passages or texts are brought in to support an argument about another passage or text. Passages from Margaret Fell’s seventeenth-century pamphlet arguing for women’s right to preach illustrate these points. Building on Patricia Roberts-Miller’s framework for understanding deliberative conflicts, the chapter outlines four different types of interpretive communities based on their valuation and use of disagreement and interpretive argument. Each of these types of communities initiates and resolves interpretive disputes in different ways. The chapter also describes three constraining factors that influence the felt need to resolve an interpretive disagreement.

Keywords:   deliberative conflict, dispute, interpretive community, Margaret Fell, Patricia Roberts-Miller, presupposition, women’s preaching

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