Hermeneutics

   Hermeneutics is (1) the theory of interpretation, a systematic articulation of the principles that underlie the interpretation of texts, (2) an approach to philosophy that begins with issues of interpretation. The history of hermeneutics has seen (2) gradually emerge from the development of (1). Initially hermeneutics arose with a concern for the appropriate exegesis and interpretation of religious texts (especially the Bible). Medieval biblical hermeneutics was dominated by the 'Quadriga' the alleged four levels of meaning in each biblical passage: literal, allegorical, tropological (or moral) and anagogical (or eschatological). With the Reformation turn to the literal sense, the development of modern hermeneutics began, coming fully to birth with Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, who argued that we come to understand the text both with relation to the grammatical form and the psychological condition of the writer. Through the work of philosophers like Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer, hermeneutics in the second sense has gradually emerged. Hence, Gadamer viewed hermeneutics in the broadest sense as encompassing everything interpretable, from texts to people to events. Moreover, he stressed the absence of transhistorical criteria of interpretation, which leads to the hermeneutical circle, a recognition that understanding comes only through tacit foreknowledge. The interpretation of texts thus involves a fusion of horizons between the interpreter and text. This has proved very influential for such Christian philosophers as Paul Ricoeur.
   Further reading: Gadamer 2003; Ricoeur 1981, 1991, 1996 and 2004; Shapiro and Sico 1984; Thiselton 1992

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • Hermeneutics — Gadamer and Ricoeur G.B.Madison THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: ROMANTIC HERMENEUTICS Although the term ‘hermeneutics’ (hermeneutica) is, in its current usage, of early modern origin,1 the practice it refers to is as old as western civilization itself …   History of philosophy

  • Hermeneutics — • Derived from a Greek word connected with the name of the god Hermes, the reputed messenger and interpreter of the gods Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hermeneutics     Hermeneutics …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • hermeneutics —    Hermeneutics is the art and science of interpreting the Bible. The Protestant emphasis on biblical authority made hermeneutics an essential task for church leaders.    The dominant Christian hermeneutics of the Middle Ages, developed by Origen …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • HERMENEUTICS — HERMENEUTICS, the science of biblical interpretation. The rabbis saw the Pentateuch as a unified, divinely communicated text, consistent in all its parts. It was consequently possible to uncover deeper meanings and to provide for a fuller… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hermeneutics — Her me*neu tics, n. [Gr. ? (sc. ?).] The science of interpretation and explanation; exegesis; esp., that branch of theology which defines the laws whereby the meaning of the Scriptures is to be ascertained. Schaff Herzog Encyc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hermeneutics — 1737, from HERMENEUTIC (Cf. hermeneutic); also see ICS (Cf. ics) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hermeneutics — [n] the science of searching for hidden meaning in texts exegetics, exploration, interpretation, investigation, literary criticism, psychoanalytic criticism, revealing, unmasking; concept 349 …   New thesaurus

  • hermeneutics — [hʉr΄mə no͞ot′iks, hʉr΄mə nyo͞ot′iks] n. [< HERMENEUTIC] the art or science of interpretation, as of literary or religious texts …   English World dictionary

  • Hermeneutics — In religious studies and social philosophy, hermeneutics (English pronunciation: /hɜrməˈn(j)uːtɨks/) is the study of the theory and practice of interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics which includes Biblical hermeneutics refers to the study of… …   Wikipedia

  • hermeneutics — /herr meuh nooh tiks, nyooh /, n. (used with a sing. v.) 1. the science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures. 2. the branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis. [1730 40; see HERMENEUTIC, ICS] * * * Study of the… …   Universalium

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