Teaching the Bible hermeneutically

Open Access Resources about hermeneutics, sacred texts, the Bible and the school classroom.

This page contains links to mostly open access copies of my published research on Biblical hermeneutics.

Preliminary Research in Biblical Hermeneutics 

I reviewed the research literature around the teaching of the Bible and contrasted what that research found in schools with Christian practices around the Bible, and aspects of good hermeneutics. 

2017/18 ‘Interpreting Texts More Wisely: A Review of Research and the Case for Change in English Religious Education’ In Christian Faith, Formation and Education, edited by R Stuart-Buttle, Ros and J Shortt. Palgrave (sole-authored chapter in a peer-reviewed academic book)  Draft version available here: https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/886v8/interpreting-texts-more-wisely-a-review-of-research-and-the-case-for-change

2017 ‘Stepping into sacred texts: How the Jesuits taught me to read the Bible’. In Reenchanting the Academy, edited by A Voss and S. Wilson, Rubedo Press. (sole-authored chapter in an edited academic book)

Abstract available here:  https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87z66/stepping-into-sacred-texts-how-the-jesuits-taught-me-to-read-the-bible. Contact me if you would like a copy.

I collaborated with RE teacher Richard Coles and we produced a joint paper drawing on his research about the issues and my own work. This was published in 2018  We reap what we ‘sew’: perpetuating biblical illiteracy in new English Religious Studies exams and the proof text binary question British Journal of Religious Education 2018, 40(3), 277-287 (with Richard Coles)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01416200.2022.2054773

After the new GCSE specifications emerged I undertook a seed corn funded research project with a department focus group about their early experiences of the new curriculum , including what it meant for texts. That is published open access here in 

2020  The collective consciousness of an RE department during curriculum change: scripture, representation, science, fear and angerJournal of Religious Education. 2020, 68(3), 305-313; doi:10.1007/s40839-020-00111-9.

The Texts and Teachers Project

This was a Culham St Gabriel’s funded project which examined and engaged with teachers about teaching texts in the classroom. The reports and resources related to the project, which includes classroom guidance, are available here: 

Project overview: https://www.reonline.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Bob-Bowie-Hermeneutics.pdf

2020 Texts and Teachers Findings Report https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vzy0/texts-and-teachers-the-findings-report Canterbury, UK, Canterbury Christ Church University.

2020 Texts and Teachers Practice Guide:  https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8vzy1/texts-and-teachers-the-practice-guide    Canterbury, UK, Canterbury Christ Church University.

I published research from the project with colleagues in 

2022 (With Farid Panjwani and Katie Clemmey) ‘A ‘meta’ approach to texts in Religious Education: Researching teachers’ engagement with sacred text scholarship in English secondary schools’ British Journal of Religious Education Published online: 24 Mar 2022 https://doi.org/10.1080/01416200.2022.2054773

I often collaborate with Dr Maragaret Carswell who is an expert in Sacred Text Education. Here is a recorded conversation with her.