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Readings from the Road: Contextual Hermeneutics of Homelessness

This 2010 project was funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant. Dr Susannah Cornwall facilitated discussions with a group of homeless and vulnerably-housed people who were all users of a soup kitchen in South-West England. These discussions used Contextual Bible Study methodology, a democratic and non-directional reading technique which facilitates creative readings and "outsider" interpretations of biblical texts, and encourages readers to engage with the world behind the text (the social and historical context), the world of the text (characters, themes and linguistic specificities of the text), and the world in front of the text (the contemporary setting). The group reflected on four passages from Luke's gospel, drawing out themes such as justice, inclusion, home and place. Dr Louise Lawrence acted as a critical friend to the project.