The role of preferences in the context of believing and discerning communities : A Maturanian reading
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We find ourselves, as interpreters and listeners, living, discerning, prioritizing, asking, and answering questions in and through particular communal and theological traditions. As the discerning and prioritizing process is inevitable, we suggest to move the question about prioritizing from the context of ‘privileged access or interpretation’ to the context of the ‘preferences’ of the believing communities. We imply by this ‘relocation’ the interdependent relationships between believing communities and their beliefs and practices. We propose, following Maturana’s epistemology, three steps to argue about the dynamic and interdependent relationships among believers, communities, and their beliefs and practices. We affirm, first, that whenever we engage in the discerning process we have before us two paths of explanations. These two paths place the believers in a central place in their task for deciding for one of the options. The recognition about the interpreters’ active participation suggests the crucial role of the believers and their preferences. The crucial point in the process of discerning and deciding for one of the paths is the type of believing communities that we would like to promote and conserve. We suggest, second, that the proposal of answers and the acceptation of those answers as explanations imply the active participation of both interpreters and listeners. We propose the interdependence relationships between our existence in particular believing communities and those questions and answers that we prioritize, ignore, and conserve. We claim, third, that in language or in and through our dialogical spaces we distinguish and coordinate the many and possible dimensions of our existence and relationships. As believers, in and through the contexts of our believing communities we discern, prioritize, and conserve the accents of our beliefs and practices. We stress the crucial role of the preferences as the believing communities prioritize and conserve the ‘nature’ and ‘course’ of their particular communities.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Print and electronic copy restricted until 13th October 2019
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations