Moral Discernment in the Abraham and Sarah Narrative Observations for Contemporary Pilgrims

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Marion L. S. Carson


For many Christians, Abraham and Sarah are exemplary characters, whose lives provide spiritual and moral guidance for us on our own journeys of faith. Adopting a literary approach, this paper explores the narrative, draws insights from reception history, and asks what it can teach us with regard to moral discernment in the contemporary church. It suggests that while Abraham and Sarah live lives of faith and hope, they are flawed characters, hampered by personal weakness and cultural influences. Reception history of the story challenges us to be discerning readers — aware of our own flaws and constraints, unafraid to examine our traditional understandings, and open to learning from voices from traditions other than our own.

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Author Biography

Marion L. S. Carson

Marion Carson serves as Chaplain to Glasgow City Mission in Scotland and is a Senior Research Fellow at IBTS Centre, Amsterdam.