Through the Eyes of Another
Intercultural Reading of the Bible

Reading report

showroom image

The expectation that it would be boring to read the same story one more time showed to be incorrect. Again new elements arrised that were not thought of before.

 

 

 

 

 

Stellenbosch-Welgelegen (woman)

About the reading process

 

This is a short manual of the project ‘Through the Eyes of Another’, intercultural reading of the Bible. (A more detailed manual you can find here.) 
This short manual is meant to give an idea about the process. It is a short route description for the ones who want to be part of this project.

Intercultural reading of the Bible is fascinating but also complicated. You will read the same text with a partner group on the other side of the world, which raises questions such as the following: how does it work? What is to expect? How long will it take? It is our hope that this manual will serve as a useful  instrument in this complicated process. Previous experiences have been used to its fullest. We hope that careful reading of this text, and of the more detailed manual, will offer answers to all important questions.

Overview of the steps to be taken

Step 1: a group is formed

A reading group is formed. The intentions and expectations of the project will be made clear to all the group members. Except for the willingness to complete the whole process there are no preconditions to participate. It will be about ordinary readers who ‘spontaneously’, as they are used to, read a bible story together. Groups will point out a panel chairman and a reporter. They will be asked to deliver an extra effort.

Step 2: enroll and find a partner group

In order for you to officially become part of the project, you have to register your group (click here) on this website. One fills out the information asked, gets access, chooses (if possible) a partner group and bible text and determines a time path. Once your group is registered, you will be able to select a partnergroup (click here).

Step 3: the process of reading begins

First, both groups read the text by themselves. Usually, groups will need several meetings to do so. The experience teaches that one should count on about 2 months. Clues for the rules of play can be found in the detailed manual (click here). The facilitator and the reporter are crucial. Their tasks are described thoroughly in the detailed manual. The facilitator creates an environment of openess, trust and intimacy so that there will be sufficient room for every participant. The reporter is responsible for a good representation of the encounter (report). A good and comprehensive report is very important for the interaction with the partner group. The experience learns: the better the report the richer the exchange with the partner group.

Step 4: the exchange begins

As soon as the reading process is finalized and the report is approved by the group, the exchange will start. One will send the reading report to the partner group and will receive the report of the partner group. Often, the reading reports have to be translated which takes time. One can enter into an agreement with the partner group about this. If there is a gap to bridge between the first and the second phase, this can be gapped creatively. Suggestions can be found in the extended protocol (click here).

Step 5:  through the eyes of another

As soon as the report of the partner group has been received, the actual interaction with the partner group starts. Groups will read the text again, but now through the eyes of another. What are the similarities and what are the differences between both visions of the text. Where do the differences come from?

Step 6: interaction

One has looked at the text ‘through the eyes of another’. As to our experience, this has led to many reactions. This is reason enough to meet the partner group for a probing talk. The detailed manual will give a few suggestions to do so.

Step 7: Rounding off and starting over…

After a while the dialogue with the partner group will come at ease. Then, there is time for the group to look back at the whole process and for a last, final (?) reaction to the partner group. Then the moment has also come for the group to wonder whether one wants to shut down the process or to start over with the same or another partner group for a new round. Groups can also decide to keep meeting with the partner group, even in a direct way. They can visit one another!