As I continue to work through The New Testament and the People of God by N.T. Wright, I was struck by this statement: “history…is rather the meaningful narrative of events and intentions.(82)” Wright is arguing that history is not simply the subjective interpretation of events and ideas. It is however, connected to a reality outside itself and is a process by which those events are placed within a grander meta-narrative. He argues against the postmodern emphasis and focus on the centrality of the reader that disconnects texts from their historical setting.
This I think is very helpful. Primarily because he draws out the fundamental flaw in our current cultural milieu. Which is this disconnect from the fact that things do actually happen apart from someone writing them down.
The other thing that I think is key in his definition is that it points to “intentions”. The intention of an author is something that many in our world today argue against being a possible end. However, it seems that Wright wants to argue that we have access to intent. If this is the case then we can begin to grapple with the statements of the text that seek to subvert us.
In my previous post I asked the question, “where do we find authority?” I think that if we can find intent then we can have grounds for building authority. Apart from this, it will be difficult to do so.
So, do you think we have access to intent? Or is all this a bunch of hot air?