Ricoeur essays on biblical interpretation

God of Empowering Love: Polk ENTIRE BOOK The path that through the centuries led Christian theology away from the dynamic and interactive God of the biblical writings to the immutable deity of classical theologians also involved a de-emphasis upon divine love in favor of divine power.

Ricoeur essays on biblical interpretation

Citation FERRARIS defines hermeneutics as "the art of interpretation as transformation" and contrasts it with a view of theory as "contemplation of eternal essences unalterable by their observer" p.


In these post-positivistic times, the need to make explicit the art of interpretation, and the transformative possibilities within, has never been more urgent. This paper suggests that hermeneutic thought has much to offer those interested in qualitative inquiry and, as SCHWANDT points out, serves as a major source of ideas for qualitative inquiry.

Most research is informed by philosophical underpinnings that originate in unacknowledged and implicit philosophical traditions. I suggest that qualitative research is by its very nature informed by hermeneutic thought, although this link is not often made explicit in qualitative research writing.

On a broad level, greater attention to the tradition of hermeneutic scholarship can enrich, substantiate and make explicit assumptions about interpretation and understanding that are central to qualitative research.

Given that the emphasis in qualitative research is on understanding and interpretation as opposed to explanation and verification, and that the parallel emphasis is evident in hermeneutic thought, where for instance GADAMER demonstrates that understanding verstehen is the universal link in all interpretation of any kind, the connection between qualitative research and hermeneutic thought becomes self-evident.

Furthermore it is suggested that the critical potential of hermeneutics could more fruitfully be employed in the human sciences. Originally an approach used for the interpretation of ancient and biblical texts, hermeneutics has over time been applied to the human sciences more generally DILTHEY,and is now seen by many to cover all interpretive acts in the human human sciences RORTY, With respect to the universality of hermeneutics, RORTY describes his fantasy "that the very idea of hermeneutics should disappear, in the way in which old general ideas do disappear when they lose polemical and contrastive force—when they begin to have universal applicability" p.

While hermeneutics has a long history and influence in Europe and particularly German language contexts, the influence in North America has generally been more limited. In particular, he points to GADAMER's Truth and Method as a book about hermeneutic philosophy with an unrecognized significance that reaches far beyond the discipline of philosophy.

Indeed, in North America, this lack has been identified in fields such as education; for example, GALLAGHER notes that hermeneutics has not been widely discussed or adopted in the field of education.

This is contrasted with European contexts where hermeneutics has had a more important and prominent role in methodological debates in the social sciences, and within the educational traditions. Furthermore, hermeneutics questions the limitations of positivist approaches to research, GADAMER a writes "And yet, over against the whole of our civilization that is founded on modern science, we must ask repeatedly if something has not been omitted …" p.

This "omitted" something, is what both the project of hermeneutic thought and the project of qualitative research set their attention toward. It follows that hermeneutics may offer an implicit conceptual underpinning to research in the qualitative tradition, and that understanding hermeneutics and critical hermeneutics can potentially enrich and deepen the conceptual foundations of research undertaken from a qualitative perspective.

Characteristics of a Hermeneutic Approach Hermeneutics is sometimes criticized for its conceptually elusive nature, but it is important to note, as GADAMER does, that "hermeneutics is a protection against abuse of method, not against methodicalness in general" p.

Given the conceptually elusive nature of hermeneutics, there are few introductory overviews that invite the novice into a dialogue about this subject. While not an exhaustive discussion of hermeneutic philosophy, this paper invites the reader to consider five characteristics of a hermeneutic approach.

This overview highlights introductory ideas, illuminating that a hermeneutic approach a seeks understanding rather than explanation; b acknowledges the situated location of interpretation; c recognizes the role of language and historicity in interpretation; d views inquiry as conversation; and e is comfortable with ambiguity.

These descriptions are followed by a discussion of the critical potential of a hermeneutic approach. Its task, therefore, is not to methodically achieve a relationship to some matter and to secure understanding in such a method.

Rather, its task is to recollect the contours and textures of the life we are already living, a life that is not secured by the methods we can wield to render such a life our object" p.

Importantly, the conditions under which a fusion of horizons takes place include attention to the prejudices individuals bring to the interpretive event, these are beyond what we are able to see, however they constitute the horizon of a particular present: An important part of this testing occurs in encountering the past and in understanding the tradition from which we come.

But at the same time, we must go beyond this historical past. For the process of understanding to take place a fusion of horizons needs to occur such that "as the historical horizon is projected, it is simultaneously superseded" GADAMER,p.

But this means that the interpreter's own thoughts too have gone into re-awakening the texts' meaning. In this the interpreter's own horizon is decisive, yet not as a personal standpoint that he maintains or enforces, but more as an opinion and a possibility that one brings into play and puts at risk, and that helps one truly to make one's own what the text says" GADAMER,p.

Our own horizon does not remain static. Such webs continually reweave themselves in order to accommodate new sentential attitudes p.

He links changes in understanding to action, noting that the web of belief should be regarded not just as a self-reweaving but as one that produces movements in the organism's muscles—movements that kick the organism itself into action.

The hermeneutic circle traditionally signified a methodological process or condition of understanding, namely that coming to understand the meaning of the whole of a text and coming to understand its parts were always interdependent activities SCHWANDT, In this regard, "construing the meaning of the whole meant making sense of the parts and grasping the meaning of the parts depended on having some sense of the whole" SCHWANDT,p.

Each part is what it is by virtue of its location and function with respect to the whole. In a process of contextualization, each of the parts is illuminated, which clarifies the whole. Interpretation is seen as an inescapable feature of all human efforts to understand; "there is no special evidence, method, experience or meaning that is independent of interpretation or more basic to it such that one can escape the hermeneutic circle" SCHWANDT,p.

GADAMER notes that 19th century hermeneutic theory often discussed the circular structure of understanding within the framework of a formal relation between part and whole. In this theory, "the circular movement of understanding runs backward and forward along the text and ceases when the text is perfectly understood" p.

Ricoeur essays on biblical interpretation

In contrast he draws on HEIDEGGER who describes the circle in such a way that "the understanding of the text remains permanently determined by the anticipatory movement of fore-understanding" p.Example review article heart failure treatment essay writing structure example reference?

Early bird catches worm essay poems Opinion essay spotlight lesson plans essay about transportation freedom of expression essays green business proposal book essay writing english ncea. Although Paul Ricoeur's writings are widely and appreciatively read by theologians, this book offers a full, sympathetic yet critical account of Ricoeur's theory of narrative interpretation and its contribution to .

The Ricoeur family being devout Huguenots (French Protestants), it meant that Paul was a member of a religious minority in Catholic France. Essays on Biblical Interpretation (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, ) Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language.

Paul Ricoeur: Essays on Biblical Interpretation.

Essays on Biblical Interpretation – Religion Online

Edited with an Introduction by Lewis S. Mudge. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, ix, Paul Ricoeur, philospher and theologian, is professor both at The University of Chicago (where he is successor to Paul Tillich) and in 5/5(1).

Hans-Georg Gadamer (—) Hans-Georg Gadamer was a leading Continental philosopher of the twentieth century.

His importance lies in his development of hermeneutic philosophy. Essays on Biblical Interpretation 47 Preface to Bultmann 49 Toward a Hermeneutic of the Idea of Revelation 73 The Hermeneutics of Testimony Freedom in the Light of Hope ———– Paul Ricoeur’s Essays on Biblical Interpretation is a collection of 5/5(1).

Hermeneutics - Wikipedia