Research Repository

University Crest

A Hermeneutics of Retrieval: Breath and Earth Voice in Luke’s Magnificat—Does Earth Care for the Poor?

Elvey, Anne (2015) A Hermeneutics of Retrieval: Breath and Earth Voice in Luke’s Magnificat—Does Earth Care for the Poor? Australian Biblical Review, 63. pp. 68-84. ISSN 0045-0308

PDF (proof)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (143kB)


This article uses the concept of “breath” as a hermeneutic key for applying the ecological hermeneutic of retrieval to suggest ways of reading the Magnificat with an ear to an Earth voice. The principle of voice, articulated by the Earth Bible Team, can be understood as a biblical principle, evident in the psalms. Much of the Second Testament, however, seems not to mention Earth directly and this raises questions concerning the application of the principle of voice. Taking the Magnificat as an example, I ask how might the interpreter retrieve an Earth voice in a text that seems oriented toward inter-human concerns for social justice? I suggest four ways in which the voice of Earth might be retrieved in this song in the mouth of a woman, Mary of Nazareth, through: i) the materiality of the text; ii) attention to the human body, especially the senses and the breath; iii) attention to the sustaining capacity of Earth in relation to poverty and riches; iv) the implicit reference to the land in the promise to the ancestors. The overall intent of the article is to situate the human question of poverty and oppression as an Earth question.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Proofs
Keywords: ecological hermeneutics, Magnificat, Gospel of Luke, poverty
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220303 Environmental Philosophy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
B - New Testament
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Dr Anne F. Elvey
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 02:33
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2016 02:33
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/2040

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...