THE RELIGIOUS LINGUISTIC CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRESENCE OF THE KINGDOM IN THE LIGHT OF SPEECH ACT THEORY: CHRISTIAN ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS
AbstractThis article presents a novel Biblical ethical hermeneutic approach that emerges from an understanding of the presence of the kingdom of God in the Biblical text. The approach is predicated upon the use of speech act theory (abbreviated as SAT) in relation to ‘kingdom language’ in the Biblical text. The approach shows how the notion of kingdom language, as God’s divine activity, is elicited in the contemporary Christian’s life by allowing it to operate beyond the world of the Biblical text. In other words, this approach establishes a Biblical-ethical hermeneutic bridge be-tween the text (and its context) and the context of contemporary readers of the text. The alternative linguistic epistemology in SAT considers the principle of the kingdom of God in the past (locution level), the present (illocutionary level) and the future (perlocutionary level). The dynamic equivalences of the past, present and future of the kingdom of God based on an SAT approach to the Biblical text can inform Christian ethical theory and moral action in the present world. It can also provide a new moral sensibility in relation to God’s sovereignty and the respon-sibility of Christians in contemporary society.
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