These seven essays offer fresh perspectives on beauty’s role in revelation. Each essay features a hermeneutical approach informed by the contemporary study of aesthetics. Covering a series of texts in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, from Adam and Eve in the garden to Jesus on trial in the Fourth Gospel, the authors engage beauty from three overarching perspectives: modern philosophy, contextual criticism, and the postcritical return to beauty’s primary qualities. The three perspectives are not harmonized but rather explored concurrently to create a volume with intriguing methodological tensions. As this collection highlights beauty in the narratives of scripture, it opens readers to a largely unexplored dimension of the Bible. The contributors are Richard J. Bautch, Jo-Ann A. Brant, Mark Brummitt, David Penchansky, Antonio Portalatín, Jean-François Racine, and Peter Spitaler.
Hans Georg-Gadamer is best known in the English-speaking world for his major work on philosophical hermeneutics, Truth and Method; he has also written extensively on the subject of Plato. Most commentators on Gadamer's work therefore view Gadamer either as a historian of philosophy or as a philosopher in his own right, critically engaged in the philosophical issues of our time.
In Beyond Being, Brice R. Wachterhauser contends that this perceived bifurcation in Gadamer's work oversimplifies and distorts important parts of Gadamer's thought. Wachterhauser argues that only by viewing Gadamer's contribution to philosophy as an integrated whole and by reading Gadamer's hermeneutical studies in light of his Plato studies are we able to avoid certain key misunderstandings of Gadamer, as well as to comprehend more clearly the radical implications of Gadamer's thought.
Engage the delightful and inspiring, sometimes rough and rocky road to inclusive and transformative Bible reading
This book offers the results of research within a new area of discipline—empirical hermeneutics in intercultural perspective. The book includes interpretations from the homeless in Amsterdam, to Indonesia, from African Xhosa readers to Norway, to Madagascar, American youths, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.
Interpretations from ordinary readers in more than twenty-five countries
Background introduction with history of the text
Discussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors
How can we account for the power of ritual? This is the guiding question of Black Critics and Kings, which examines how Yoruba forms of ritual and knowledge shape politics, history, and resistance against the state. Focusing on "deep" knowledge in Yoruba cosmology as an interpretive space for configuring difference, Andrew Apter analyzes ritual empowerment as an essentially critical practice, one that revises authoritative discourses of space, time, gender, and sovereignty to promote political—-and even violent—-change.
Documenting the development of a Yoruba kingdom from its nineteenth-century genesis to Nigeria's 1983 elections and subsequent military coup, Apter identifies the central role of ritual in reconfiguring power relations both internally and in relation to wider political arenas. What emerges is an ethnography of an interpretive vision that has broadened the horizons of local knowledge to embrace Christianity, colonialism, class formation, and the contemporary Nigerian state. In this capacity, Yoruba òrìsà worship remains a critical site of response to hegemonic interventions.
With sustained theoretical argument and empirical rigor, Apter answers critical anthropologists who interrogate the possibility of ethnography. He reveals how an indigenous hermeneutics of power is put into ritual practice—-with multiple voices, self-reflexive awareness, and concrete political results. Black Critics and Kings eloquently illustrates the ethnographic value of listening to the voice of the other, with implications extending beyond anthropology to engage leading debates in black critical theory.
Are religions intrinsically violent (as is strenuously argued by the ‘new atheists’)? Or, as Girard argues, have they been functionally rational instruments developed to manage and cope with the intrinsically violent runaway dynamic that characterizes human social organization in all periods of human history? Is violence decreasing in this time of secular modernity post-Christendom (as argued by Steven Pinker and others)? Or are we, rather, at increased and even apocalyptic risk from our enhanced powers of action and our decreased socio-symbolic protections? Rene Girard’s mimetic theory has been slowly but progressively recognized as one of the most striking breakthrough contributions to twentieth-century critical thinking in fundamental anthropology: in particular for its power to model and explain violent sacralities, ancient and modern. The present volume sets this power of explanation in an evolutionary and Darwinian frame. It asks: How far do cultural mechanisms of controlling violence, which allowed humankind to cross the threshold of hominization—i.e., to survive and develop in its evolutionary emergence—still represent today a default setting that threatens to destroy us? Can we transcend them and escape their field of gravity? Should we look to—or should we look beyond—Darwinian survival? What—and where (if anywhere)—is salvation?
This collection brings together twenty-two essays by Paul Ricoeur under the topics of structuralism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and religion. In dramatic conciseness, the essays illuminate the work of one of the leading philosophers of the day. Those interested in Ricoeur's development of the philosophy of language will find rich and suggestive reading. But the diversity of essays also speaks beyond the confines of philosophy to linguists, theologians, psychologists, and psychoanalysts.
This collection brings together twenty-two essays by Paul Ricoeur under the topics of structuralism, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and religion. In dramatic conciseness, the essays illuminate the work of one of the leading philosophers of the day. Those interested in Ricoeur's development of the philosophy of language will find rich and suggestive reading. But the diversity of essays also speaks beyond the confines of philosophy to linguists, theologians, psychologists, and psychoanalysts.
The publication of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s magnum opus Truth and Method in 1960 marked the arrival of philosophical hermeneutics as a dominant force in philosophy and the humanities as a whole. Consequences of Hermeneutics celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of one of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century with essays by most of the leading figures in contemporary hermeneutic theory, including Gianni Vattimo and Jean Grondin.
These essays examine the achievements of hermeneutics as well as its current status and prospects for the future. Gadamer’s text provides an important focus, but the ambition of these critical reappraisals extends to hermeneutics more broadly and to a range of other thinkers, such as Heidegger, Ricoeur, Derrida, and Rorty. Forcefully demonstrating the continuing relevance and power of hermeneutics, Consequences of Hermeneutics is a fitting tribute to Gadamer and the legacy of his thought.
Critique and Postcritique
Elizabeth S. Anker and Rita Felski, editors Duke University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN81.C853 2017
Now that literary critique's intellectual and political pay-off is no longer quite so self-evident, critics are vigorously debating the functions and futures of critique. The contributors to Critique and Postcritique join this conversation, evaluating critique's structural, methodological, and political potentials and limitations. Following the interventions made by Bruno Latour, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best, and others, the contributors assess the merits of the postcritical turn while exploring a range of alternate methods and critical orientations. Among other topics, the contributors challenge the distinction between surface and deep reading; outline how critique-based theory has shaped the development of the novel; examine Donna Haraway's feminist epistemology and objectivity; advocate for a "hopeful" critical disposition; highlight the difference between reading as method and critique as genre; and question critique's efficacy at attending to the affective dimensions of experience. In these and other essays this volume outlines the state of contemporary literary criticism while pointing to new ways of conducting scholarship that are better suited to the intellectual and political challenges of the present.
Contributors: Elizabeth S. Anker, Christopher Castiglia, Russ Castronovo, Simon During, Rita Felski, Jennifer L. Fleissner, Eric Hayot, Heather Love, John Michael, Toril Moi, Ellen Rooney, C. Namwali Serpell
Critically engaging the thought of Heidegger, Gadamer, and others, William Franke contributes both to the criticism of Dante's Divine Comedy and to the theory of interpretation.
Reading the poem through the lens of hermeneutical theory, Franke focuses particularly on Dante's address to the reader as the site of a disclosure of truth. The event of the poem for its reader becomes potentially an experience of truth both human and divine. While contemporary criticism has concentrated on the historical character of Dante's poem, often insisting on it as undermining the poem's claims to transcendence, Franke argues that precisely the poem's historicity forms the ground for its mediation of a religious revelation. Dante's dramatization, on an epic scale, of the act of interpretation itself participates in the self-manifestation of the Word in poetic form.
Dante's Interpretive Journey is an indispensable addition to the field of Dante studies and offers rich insights for philosophy and theology as well.
Following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI, in Dark Passages of the Bible Matthew Ramage weds the historical-critical approach with a theological reading of Scripture based in the patristic-medieval tradition. Whereas these two approaches are often viewed as mutually exclusive or even contradictory, Ramage insists that the two are mutually enriching and necessary for doing justice to the Bibles most challenging texts.
Effective History presents its reader with a thorough explanation and evaluation of H.-G. Gadamer’s concept of “effective history,” not only as it pertains to the broader range of hermeneutic and postmodern thinkers working in the wake of Kantian philosophy, but first and foremost as a careful and measured consideration of the practice of effective history as a critical method for philosophy in our current times.
In this book, William O'Neill, SJ, offers an interpretation of the nature and scope of practical reasoning in light of postmodern philosophical criticism. He charts a via media between the abstract formalism of neo-Kantian morality and relativist interpretations of neo-Aristotelian ethics.
The three parts of the book treat the eclipse of the classical Aristotelian conception of practical reason; the Kantian heritage in the modern moral theories of John Rawls and R.M. Hare; and the hermeneutical retrieval of a moral interpretation of the world. Drawing upon the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer, modern analytical philosophy, and the discourse ethics of Jürgen Habermas, O'Neill offers a critical reconstruction of practical reason which upholds the primacy of moral community while recognizing the ethical import of historical and cultural difference.
The final chapter applies the preceding hermeneutical critique to the question of the distinctiveness of Christian ethics in the writings of Karl Barth, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Josef Fuchs, and Bruno Schüller. This original contribution will be of special interest to students and teachers of moral philosophy and theology.
Expanding Hermeneutics examines the development of interpretation theory, emphasizing how science in practice involves and implicates interpretive processes. Ihde argues that the sciences have developed a sophisticated visual hermeneutics that produces evidence by means of imaging, visual displays, and visualizations. From this vantage point, Ihde demonstrates how interpretation is built into technologies and instruments.
David Tracy is widely considered one of the most important religious thinkers in North America, known for his pluralistic vision and disciplinary breadth. His first book in more than twenty years reflects Tracy’s range and erudition, collecting essays from the 1980s to 2018 into a two-volume work that will be greeted with joy by his admirers and praise from new readers.
In the first volume, Fragments, Tracy gathers his most important essays on broad theological questions, beginning with the problem of suffering across Greek tragedy, Christianity, and Buddhism. The volume goes on to address the Infinite, and the many attempts to categorize and name it by Plato, Aristotle, Rilke, Heidegger, and others. In the remaining essays, he reflects on questions of the invisible, contemplation, hermeneutics, and public theology. Throughout, Tracy evokes the potential of fragments (understood both as concepts and events) to shatter closed systems and open us to difference and Infinity. Covering science, literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and non-Western religious traditions, Tracy provides in Fragments a guide for any open reader to rethink our fragmenting contemporary culture.
From Text to Action
Paul Ricoeur Northwestern University Press, 1991 Library of Congress B2430.R553D813 1991 | Dewey Decimal 194
With his writings on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Marxism, ideology, and religion, Paul Ricoeur has single-handedly redefined and revitalized the hermeneutic tradition. From Text to Action is an essential companion to the now classic The Conflict of Interpretations. Here, Ricoeur continues and extends his project of constructing a general theory of interpretation, positioning his work in relation to its own philosophical background: Hegel, Husserl, Gadamer, and Weber. He also responds to contemporary figures like K.O. Apel and Jürgen Habermas, connecting his own theorization of ideology to their version of ideology critique.
With his writings on phenomenology, psychoanalysis, Marxism, ideology, and religion, Paul Ricoeur has single-handedly redefined and revitalized the hermeneutic tradition. From Text to Action is an essential companion to the now classic The Conflict of Interpretations. Here, Ricoeur continues and extends his project of constructing a general theory of interpretation, positioning his work in relation to its own philosophical background: Hegel, Husserl, Gadamer, and Weber. He also responds to contemporary figures like K.O. Apel and Jü rgen Habermas, connecting his own theorization of ideology to their version of ideology critique.
The German volume Gadamer Lesebuch [A Gadamer Reader] (1997), selected and edited by Jean Grondin in consultation with Hans-Georg Gadamer himself, contains a set of essays that present a cross section of writings by one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. The volume begins with an autobiographical sketch and culminates in a conversation with Jean Grondin that looks back over a lifetime of productive philosophical work. The essays not already available in English have here been translated by Richard E. Palmer, a respected translator of Gadamer's writings. The sixteen essays contained in the Lesebuch are augmented here by three other essays: Gadamer's last essay on Derrida, "Hermeneutics Tracking the Trace" (1994) and two essays on practical philosophy. The Gadamer Reader: A Bouquet of the Later Writings richly conveys the scope and depth of Gadamer's thought, covering the range of his work in hermeneutics, aesthetics, practical philosophy, and essays on Plato, Hegel, and Heidegger. In addition, Palmer offers introductory remarks before each essay that explain its importance in the context of Gadamer's writings and define its key terms. Throughout, in both his translation and commentary, his aim is to make this critically important philosopher as clear and accessible as possible to an English-speaking audience.
A collection of essays from the International Cooperation Initiative of the Society of Biblical Literature
This first volume in the International Voices in Biblical Studies series stimulates and facilitates a global hermeneutic in which centers and margins fade. The collection explores the global context within which biblical studies and interpretation take place, includes three case studies from different regions, and reflections on the consequences of global hermeneutics on biblical interpretation and on translation.
Case studies from different regions
Essays explore both the positive and negative aspects of globalization
Seven essays represent scholarship from Africa and Latin America
Essential reading for biblical studies students and scholars interested in cutting-edge critical theory
The current global ecological crisis has prompted a turn to the nonhuman in critical theory. This book breaks new ground in biblical studies as the first to bring nonhuman theory to bear on the gospels and Acts. Nonhuman theory, a confluence of several of the main theoretical streams that have issued forth since the heyday of high poststructuralism, includes affect theory, posthuman animality studies, critical plant studies, object-oriented new materialisms, and assemblage theory. Nonhuman theory dismantles and reassembles the Western concept of “the human” that coalesced during the Enlightenment and testifies to other conceptions of the human and of the nonhuman, not least those found in the canonical gospels and Acts. Stephen D. Moore’s exegetical explorations and defamiliarizations of these overly familiar texts and excavations of their incessantly erased strangeness are the central feature of this provocative book.
New paths in biblical ecotheology and ecocriticism
A significant contribution to the analysis of emotions in biblical texts
Class resource for courses in methods for biblical studies, the gospels, and the Bible and ecology
Hegel on Hamann
G. W. F. Hegel Northwestern University Press, 2008 Library of Congress B2993.H4413 2008 | Dewey Decimal 193
In 1828, G. W. F. Hegel published a critical review of Johann George Hamann, a retrospective of the life and works of one of Germany's most enigmatic and challenging thinkers and writers. While Hegel's review had enjoyed a central place in Hamann studies since its appearance, Hegel on Hamann is the first English translation of the important work. Philosophers, theologians, and literary critics welcome Anderson's stunning translation since Hamann is gaining renewed attention, not only as a key figure of German intellectual history, but also as an early forerunner of postmodern thought. Relationships between Enlightenment, Counter Enlightenment, and Idealism come to the fore as Hegel reflects on Hamann's critiques of his contemporaries Immanuel Kant, Moses Mendelssohn, J. G. Herder, and F. H. Jacobi. Hegel on Hamann also includes an introduction to Hegel's review, as well as an essay on the role of friendship in Hamann's life, in Hegel's thought, and in German intellectual culture more broadly. Rounding out the volume are its extensive annotations and bibliography, which facilitate further study of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century philosophy in English and German. This book is essential both for readers of Hegel or Hamann and for those interested in the history of German thought, the philosophy of religion, language and hermeneutics, or friendship as a philosophical category.
Edited by Michael Bowler and Ingo Farin Northwestern University Press, 2016 Library of Congress B3279.H49H3845 2016 | Dewey Decimal 121.686
Hermeneutical Heidegger critically examines and confronts Heidegger's hermeneutical approach to philosophy and the history of philosophy. Heidegger's work, both early and late, has had a profound impact on hermeneutics and hermeneutical philosophy. The essays in this volume are striking in the way they exhibit the variety of perspectives on the development and role of hermeneutics in Heidegger's work, allowing a multiplicity of views on the nature of hermeneutics and hermeneutical philosophy to emerge. As Heidegger argues, the rigor and strength of philosophy do not consist in the development of a univocal and universal method, but in philosophy's ability to embrace—not just tolerate—the questioning of its basic concepts. The essays in Hermeneutical Heidegger are exemplars of this kind of rigor and strength.
Richard E. Palmer Northwestern University Press, 1969
This classic, first published in 1969, introduces to English-speaking readers a field which is of increasing importance in contemporary philosophy and theology--hermeneutics, the theory of understanding, or interpretation.
Richard E. Palmer, utilizing largely untranslated sources, treats principally of the conception of hermeneutics enunciated by Heidegger and developed into a "philosophical hermeneutics" by Hans-Georg Gadamer. He provides a brief overview of the field by surveying some half-dozen alternate definitions of the term and by examining in detail the contributions of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Wilhelm Dilthey. In the Manifesto which concludes the book, Palmer suggests the potential significance of hermeneutics for literary interpretation.
Hermeneutics and Truth
Brice R. Wachterhauser Northwestern University Press, 1994 Library of Congress B3248.G34H47 1994 | Dewey Decimal 121.68
The claim that all human thought involves "interpretation," that all human thought is in some way relative to a contingent context of cognitive, theoretical, practical, and aesthetic considerations, has become widely accepted, but waht we understand by "truth" and how we should best pursue it are questions raised with renewed force once a hermeneutical starting point has been embraced. Brice R. Wachterhauser's collection Hermeneutics and Truth is an attempt to contribute to this concersation.
No thinkers have wrestled with the issue of truth and interpretation in more illuminating ways for the Continental tradition of philosophy than Heidegger and Gadamer. Hermeneutics and Truth is a dual focus on Heidegger and Gadamer, but it concentrates primarily on Gadamer's efforts to think through the issue of truth for hermeneutics and only secondaily on Heidegger's thought on this issue.
What, precisely, does the word hermeneutics mean? And in what sense can one speak of the hermeneutics of original argument? In The Hermeneutics of Original Argument, P. Christopher Smith explores these questions in building upon Heidegger's hermeneutical thought. In applying Heidegger's basic notion that hermeneutics is not a doctrine of interpretation but is its actual execution, Christopher Smith penetrates the abstractions that conceal original argument and explores the structure and nature of argument as it originally occurs.
From his groundbreaking Violence and the Sacred and Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World, René Girard’s mimetic theory is presented as elucidating “the origins of culture.” He posits that archaic religion (or “the sacred”), particularly in its dynamics of sacrifice and ritual, is a neglected and major key to unlocking the enigma of “how we became human.” French philosopher of science Michel Serres states that Girard’s theory provides a Darwinian theory of culture because it “proposes a dynamic, shows an evolution and gives a universal explanation.” This major claim has, however, remained underscrutinized by scholars working on Girard’s theory, and it is mostly overlooked within the natural and social sciences. Joining disciplinary worlds, this book aims to explore this ambitious claim, invoking viewpoints as diverse as evolutionary culture theory, cultural anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, ethology, and philosophy. The contributors provide major evidence in favor of Girard’s hypothesis. Equally, Girard’s theory is presented as having the potential to become for the human and social sciences something akin to the integrating framework that present-day biological science owes to Darwin—something compatible with it and complementary to it in accounting for the still remarkably little understood phenomenon of human emergence.
In this illuminating study of Kant's theory of imagination and its role in interpretation, Rudolf A. Makkreel argues against the commonly held notion that Kant's transcendental philosophy is incompatible with hermeneutics. The charge that Kant's foundational philosophy is inadequate to the task of interpretation can be rebutted, explains Makkreel, if we fully understand the role of imagination in his work. In identifying this role, Makkreel also reevaluates the relationship among Kant's discussions of the feeling of life, common sense, and the purposiveness of history.
Intellectual Sacrifice and Other Mimetic Paradoxes is an account of Paolo Diego Bubbio’s twenty-year intellectual journey through the twists and turns of Girard’s mimetic theory. The author analyzes philosophy and religion as “enemy sisters” engaged in an endless competitive struggle and identifies the intellectual space where this rivalry can either be perpetuated or come to a paradoxical resolution. He goes on to explore topics ranging from arguments for the existence of God to mimetic theory’s post-Kantian legacy, political implications, and capacity for identifying epochal phenomena, such as the crisis of the self, in popular culture. Bubbio concludes by advocating for an encounter between mimetic theory and contemporary philosophical hermeneutics—an encounter in which each approach benefits and is enriched by the resources of the other. The volume features a previously unpublished letter by René Girard on the relationship between philosophy and religion.
"Contemporary theory has usefully analyzed how alternative modes of interpretation produce different meanings, how reading itself is constituted by the variable perspectives of readers, and how these perspectives are in turn defined by prejudices, ideologies, interests, and so forth. Some theorists gave argued persuasively that textual meaning, in literature and in literary interpretation, is structured by repression and forgetting, by what the literary or critical text does not say as much as by what it does. All these claims are directly relevant to legal hermeneutics, and thus it is no surprise that legal theorists have recently been turning to literary theory for potential insight into the interpretation of law. This collection of essays is designed to represent the especially rich interactive that has taken place between legal and literary hermeneutics during the past ten years."
"As Professor Fazlur Rahman shows in the latest of a series of important contributions to Islamic intellectual history, the characteristic problems of the Muslim modernists—the adaptation to the needs of the contemporary situation of a holy book which draws its specific examples from the conditions of the seventh century and earlier—are by no means new. . . . In Professor Rahman's view the intellectual and therefore the social development of Islam has been impeded and distorted by two interrelated errors. The first was committed by those who, in reading the Koran, failed to recognize the differences between general principles and specific responses to 'concrete and particular historical situations.' . . . This very rigidity gave rise to the second major error, that of the secularists. By teaching and interpreting the Koran in such a way as to admit of no change or development, the dogmatists had created a situation in which Muslim societies, faced with the imperative need to educate their people for life in the modern world, were forced to make a painful and self-defeating choice—either to abandon Koranic Islam, or to turn their backs on the modern world."—Bernard Lewis, New York Review of Books
"In this work, Professor Fazlur Rahman presents a positively ambitious blueprint for the transformation of the intellectual tradition of Islam: theology, ethics, philosophy and jurisprudence. Over the voices advocating a return to Islam or the reestablishment of the Sharia, the guide for action, he astutely and soberly asks: What and which Islam? More importantly, how does one get to 'normative' Islam? The author counsels, and passionately demonstrates, that for Islam to be actually what Muslims claim it to be—comprehensive in scope and efficacious for every age and place—Muslim scholars and educationists must reevaluate their methodology and hermeneutics. In spelling out the necessary and sound methodology, he is at once courageous, serious and profound."—Wadi Z. Haddad, American-Arab Affairs
Matthew J. Ramage Catholic University of America Press, 2017 Library of Congress BT203.R35 2017 | Dewey Decimal 232.8
In this sequel volume to his Dark Passages of the Bible (CUA Press, 2013), author Matthew Ramage turns his attention from the Old to the New Testament, now tackling truth claims bearing directly on the heart of the Christian faith cast into doubt by contemporary New Testament scholarship: Did God become man in Jesus, or did the first Christians make Jesus into God? Was Jesus' resurrection a historical event, or rather a myth fabricated by the early Church? Will Jesus indeed return to earth on the last day, or was this merely the naïve expectation of ancient believers that reasonable people today ought to abandon?
An accessible point of entry into the rich medieval religious landscape of Jewish biblical exegesis s
Medieval Judeo-Arabic translations of the Hebrew Bible and their commentaries provide a rich source for understanding a formative period in the intellectual, literary, and cultural history and heritage of Jews in Islamic lands. The carefully selected texts in this volume offer intriguing insight into Arabic translations and commentaries by Rabbanite and Karaite Jewish exegetes from the tenth to the twelfth centuries CE, arranged according to the three divisions of the Torah, the Former and Latter Prophets, and the Writings. Each text is embedded within an essay discussing its exegetical context, reception, and contribution.
Focus on underrepresented medieval Jewish commentators of the Eastern world
A list of additional resources, including major Judeo-Arabic commentators in the medieval period
Previously unpublished texts from the Cairo Geniza
Distinguished historian of Judaism Jacob Neusner here ventures for the first time into constructive theology. Taking the everyday life of contemporary Judaism as his beginning, Neusner asks when in the life of the living faith of the Torah does Israel, the holy community, meet God? Where does the meeting take place? What is the medium of the encounter?
In his attempt to answer these questions, Neusner sets forth the character and the form of the Torah as sung theology. Israel, the holy community, meets God in the synagogue, while at prayer, and in the yeshiva, when studying the Torah—at the moment in each setting when the Torah is received. In both circumstances people do not read but sing out its words. With the written part of the Torah sung in the synagogue, and the oral part declaimed in centers of sacred learning, music provides the medium for Judaism's theological voice.
Neusner identifies a reciprocal exchange between the holy community Israel and God: Israel sings to God when the Torah is studied, and God sings to Israel when the Torah is declaimed. Through the metaphor of music, Neusner offers an account of how he believes those faithful to the Torah meet God in the Torah, and how they should listen to the melody of God's self-revelation. The result is an original theological reflection that will interest all students of Judaism.
Engage essays that are profoundly theological and resolutely social
In this collection of essays, contributors seek to analyze the vision of the critical task espoused by Latino/a critics. The project explores how such critics approach their vocation as critics in the light of their identity as members of the Latino/a experience and reality. A variety of critics—representing a broad spectrum of the Latino/a American formation, along various axes of identity—address the question in whatever way they deem appropriate: What does it mean to be a Latino/a critic?
Essays from sixteen scholars
Articles bring together the fields of biblical studies and racial-ethnic studies
Conclusion addresses directions for future research
The Limits of Critique
Rita Felski University of Chicago Press, 2015 Library of Congress PN81.F44 2015 | Dewey Decimal 801.95
Why must critics unmask and demystify literary works? Why do they believe that language is always withholding some truth, that the critic’s task is to reveal the unsaid or repressed? In this book, Rita Felski examines critique, the dominant form of interpretation in literary studies, and situates it as but one method among many, a method with strong allure—but also definite limits.
Felski argues that critique is a sensibility best captured by Paul Ricoeur’s phrase “the hermeneutics of suspicion.” She shows how this suspicion toward texts forecloses many potential readings while providing no guarantee of rigorous or radical thought. Instead, she suggests, literary scholars should try what she calls “postcritical reading”: rather than looking behind a text for hidden causes and motives, literary scholars should place themselves in front of it and reflect on what it suggests and makes possible.
By bringing critique down to earth and exploring new modes of interpretation, The Limits of Critique offers a fresh approach to the relationship between artistic works and the social world.
Vladimir E. Alexandrov advocates a broad revision of the academic study of literature, proposing an adaptive, text-specific approach designed to minimize the circularity of interpretation inherent in the act of reading. He illustrates this method with the example of Tolstoy's classic novel via a detailed "map" of the different possible readings that the novel can support. The novel Anna Karenina emerges as deeply conflicted, polyvalent, and quite unlike what one finds in other critical studies.
"This collection of essays, many of which were previously available only in German, traces the trajectory of Gumbrecht's scholarship from 1975 to 1990. Gumbrecht is a brilliant theoretician whose work can be read from cover to cover or selectively since his twelve essays treat subjects ranging from the medieval to postmodern eras and include analyses of texts from Latin, French, English, Spanish and German literatures." --Southern Humanities Review
"The translation of these essays by Gumbrecht on literary theory and history marks the appearance in English of one of Europe's most learned, productive, and inventive scholars. Their range is extraordinary. They show that Gumbrecht is not only a sophisticated theorist and historian of literature, but a master practitioner of cultural studies." --Hayden White, University of California, Santa Cruz
This book, which Foucault himself has judged accurate, is the first to provide a sustained, coherent analysis of Foucault's work as a whole.
To demonstrate the sense in which Foucault's work is beyond structuralism and hermeneutics, the authors unfold a careful, analytical exposition of his oeuvre. They argue that during the of Foucault's work became a sustained and largely successful effort to develop a new method—"interpretative analytics"—capable fo explaining both the logic of structuralism's claim to be an objective science and the apparent validity of the hermeneutical counterclaim that the human sciences can proceed only by understanding the deepest meaning of the subject and his tradition.
"There are many new secondary sources [on Foucault]. None surpass the book by Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow. . . . The American paperback edition contains Foucault's 'On the Genealogy of Ethics,' a lucid interview that is now our best source for seeing how he construed the whole project of the history of sexuality."—David Hoy, London Review of Books
Magic enjoyed a vigorous revival in sixteenth-century Europe, attaining a prestige lost for over a millennium and becoming, for some, a kind of universal philosophy. Renaissance music also suggested a form of universal knowledge through renewed interest in two ancient themes: the Pythagorean and Platonic "harmony of the celestial spheres" and the legendary effects of the music of bards like Orpheus, Arion, and David. In this climate, Renaissance philosophers drew many new and provocative connections between music and the occult sciences.
In Music in Renaissance Magic, Gary Tomlinson describes some of these connections and offers a fresh view of the development of early modern thought in Italy. Raising issues essential to postmodern historiography—issues of cultural distance and our relationship to the others who inhabit our constructions of the past —Tomlinson provides a rich store of ideas for students of early modern culture, for musicologists, and for historians of philosophy, science, and religion.
"A scholarly step toward a goal that many composers have aimed for: to rescue the idea of New Age Music—that music can promote spiritual well-being—from the New Ageists who have reduced it to a level of sonic wallpaper."—Kyle Gann, Village Voice
"An exemplary piece of musical and intellectual history, of interest to all students of the Renaissance as well as musicologists. . . . The author deserves congratulations for introducing this new approach to the study of Renaissance music."—Peter Burke, NOTES
"Gary Tomlinson's Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others examines the 'otherness' of magical cosmology. . . . [A] passionate, eloquently melancholy, and important book."—Anne Lake Prescott, Studies in English Literature
An essential introduction for scholars and students of New Testament Greek
With the publication of the widely used 28th edition of Nestle-Aland’s Novum Testamentum Graece and the 5th edition of the United Bible Society Greek New Testament, a computer-assisted method known as the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) was used for the first time to determine the most valuable witnesses and establish the initial text. This book offers the first full-length, student-friendly introduction to this important new method. After setting out the method’s history, separate chapters clarify its key concepts, including genealogical coherence, textual flow diagrams, and the global stemma. Examples from across the New Testament are used to show how the method works in practice. The result is an essential introduction that will be of interest to students, translators, commentators, and anyone else who studies the Greek New Testament.
A clear explanation of how and why the text of the Greek New Testament is changing
Step-by-step guidance on how to use the CBGM in textual criticism
Diagrams, illustrations, and glossary of key terms
A New Republic of Letters
Jerome McGann Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress AZ186.M35 2014 | Dewey Decimal 001.3
Jerome McGann's manifesto argues that the history of texts and how they are preserved and accessed for interpretation are the overriding subjects of humanist study in the digital age. Theory and philosophy no longer suffice as an intellectual framework. But philology--out of fashion for decades--models these concerns with surprising fidelity.
On Interpretive Conflict
John Frow University of Chicago Press, 2019 Library of Congress BD241.F769 2019 | Dewey Decimal 303.3
“Interpretation” is a term that encompasses both the most esoteric and the most fundamental activities of our lives, from analyzing medical images to the million ways we perceive other people’s actions. Today, we also leave interpretation to the likes of web cookies, social media algorithms, and automated markets. But as John Frow shows in this thoughtfully argued book, there is much yet to do in clarifying how we understand the social organization of interpretation.
On Interpretive Conflict delves into four case studies where sharply different sets of values come into play—gun control, anti-Semitism, the religious force of images, and climate change. In each case, Frow lays out the way these controversies unfold within interpretive regimes that establish what counts as an interpretable object and the protocols of evidence and proof that should govern it. Whether applied to a Shakespeare play or a Supreme Court case, interpretation, he argues, is at once rule-governed and inherently conflictual. Ambitious and provocative, On Interpretive Conflict will attract readers from across the humanities and beyond.
The One by Whom Scandal Comes
René Girard (Translated by M. B. DeBevoise) Michigan State University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BL65.V55G56513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 261.7
“Why is there so much violence in our midst?” René Girard asks. “No question is more debated today. And none produces more disappointing answers.” In Girard’s mimetic theory it is the imitation of someone else’s desire that gives rise to conflict whenever the desired object cannot be shared. This mimetic rivalry, Girard argues, is responsible for the frequency and escalating intensity of human conflict. For Girard, human conflict comes not from the loss of reciprocity between humans but from the transition, imperceptible at first but then ever more rapid, from good to bad reciprocity. In this landmark text, Girard continues his study of violence in light of geopolitical competition, focusing on the roots and outcomes of violence across societies latent in the process of globalization. The volume concludes in a wide-ranging interview with the Sicilian cultural theorist Maria Stella Barberi, where Girard’s twenty-first century emphases on the continuity of all religions, global conflict, and the necessity of apocalyptic thinking emerge.
This festschrift honors the work of Stanley K. Stowers, a renowned specialist in the field of Pauline studies and early Christianity, on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday and retirement from Brown University. The collection includes twenty-eight essays on theory and history of interpretation, Israelite religion and ancient Judaism, the Greco-Roman world, and early Christinity, a preface honoring Stowers, and a select bibliography of his publications.
Contributors include: Adriana Destro, John T. Fitzgerald, John G. Gager, Caroline Johnson Hodge, Ross S. Kraemer, Saul M. Olyan, Mauro Pesce, Daniel Ullucci, Debra Scoggins Ballentine, William K. Gilders, David Konstan, Nathaniel B. Levtow, Jordan D. Rosenblum, Michael L. Satlow, Karen B. Stern, Emma Wasserman, Nathaniel DesRosiers, John S. Kloppenborg, Luther H. Martin, Arthur P. Urbano, L. Michael White, William Arnal, Pamela Eisenbaum, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, Karen L. King, Christopher R. Matthews, Erin Roberts, and Richard Wright.
This book provides an innovative approach to meeting the challenges faced by philosophical hermeneutics in interpreting an ever-changing and multicultural world. Rudolf A. Makkreel proposes an orientational and reflective conception of interpretation in which judgment plays a central role. Moving beyond the dialogical approaches found in much of contemporary hermeneutics, he focuses instead on the diagnostic use of reflective judgment, not only to discern the differentiating features of the phenomena to be understood, but also to orient us to the various meaning contexts that can frame their interpretation.
Makkreel develops overlooked resources of Kant’s transcendental thought in order to reconceive hermeneutics as a critical inquiry into the appropriate contextual conditions of understanding and interpretation. He shows that a crucial task of hermeneutical critique is to establish priorities among the contexts that may be brought to bear on the interpretation of history and culture. The final chapter turns to the contemporary art scene and explores how orientational contexts can be reconfigured to respond to the ways in which media of communication are being transformed by digital technology. Altogether, Makkreel offers a promising way of thinking about the shifting contexts that we bring to bear on interpretations of all kinds, whether of texts, art works, or the world.
Philosophical esotericism—the practice of communicating one’s unorthodox thoughts “between the lines”—was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others’. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought.
Arthur M. Melzer serves as our deeply knowledgeable guide in this capacious and engaging history of philosophical esotericism. Walking readers through both an ancient (Plato) and a modern (Machiavelli) esoteric work, he explains what esotericism is—and is not. It relies not on secret codes, but simply on a more intensive use of familiar rhetorical techniques like metaphor, irony, and insinuation. Melzer explores the various motives that led thinkers in different times and places to engage in this strange practice, while also exploring the motives that lead more recent thinkers not only to dislike and avoid this practice but to deny its very existence. In the book’s final section, “A Beginner’s Guide to Esoteric Reading,” Melzer turns to how we might once again cultivate the long-forgotten art of reading esoteric works.
Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings—philosophical, but also theological, political, and literary—were composed prior to the nineteenth century.
The Place of Prejudice
Adam Adatto Sandel Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BJ1031.S26 2014 | Dewey Decimal 170.42
We associate prejudice with ignorance and bigotry and consider it a source of injustice. Can prejudice have a legitimate place in moral and political judgment? Adam Sandel shows that prejudice, properly understood, is not an obstacle to clear thinking but an essential aspect of it. The aspiration to reason without preconceptions is misguided.
In Plurality and Ambiguity, David Tracy lays the philosophical groundwork for a practical application of hermeneutics, while constructing an innovative model of theological interpretation developed out of the notions of conversation and argument. He concludes with an appraisal of the religious significance of hope in an age of radically different voices and constantly shifting meanings.
Readings in Interpretation was first published in 1987. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Readings in Interpretation — a volume primarily on the texts of Holderlin, Hegel, and their interpreter Heidegger—locates itself strategically between literature and philosophy. In keeping with this juxtaposition, it treats the question of self-consciousness and reflection on the levels of "theme" and "text." For both Hegel and Holderlin, selfconsciousness and its relation to knowing are explicit themes, but Waminski's readings show that a more disruptive reflection is operative on the level of text.
In an argument that centers on the textual aspects of Hegel's Phenomenology of the Spirit,Warminski demonstrates that the negative moment—which is often interpreted as a prelude to a unified self-consciousness—cannot be accounted for by interpretive models drawn from outside the text—by concepts like the self, consciousness, or the subject. Instead, a completely different practice and theory is necessary. The author's "Prefatory Postscript" at the beginning of the book therefore serves as an introduction to sketch the theoretical basis of the readings that follow and as a "postscript" that explains the difference between "reading" and "interpretation" which those readings make necessary.
The essays collected in this volume strongly suggest that the principles and operations of contemporary rhetoric and contemporary interpretation invite being studied in conjunction with each other—that the are, as Paul Hernadi puts it, "siamese twins." Furthermore, a number of the essays suggest that both rhetoric and interpretation ought to be studied in conjunction with the principles and operations characteristic of contemporary descriptions and critiques of ideology.
Contemporary theology, and Jewish theology in particular, Michael Fishbane asserts, now lies fallow, beset by strong critiques from within and without. For Jewish reality, a coherent and wide-ranging response in thoroughly modern terms is needed. SacredAttunement is Fishbane’s attempt to renew Jewish theology for our time, in the larger context of modern and postmodern challenges to theology and theological thought in the broadest sense.
The first part of the book regrounds theology in this setting and opens up new pathways through nature, art, and the theological dimension as a whole. In the second section, Fishbane introduces his hermeneutical theology—one grounded in the interpretation of scripture as a distinctly Jewish practice. The third section focuses on modes of self-cultivation for awakening and sustaining a covenant theology. The final section takes up questions of scripture, authority, belief, despair, and obligation as theological topics in their own right.
The first full-scale Jewish theology in America since Abraham J. Heschel’s God in Search of Man and the first comprehensive Jewish philosophical theology since Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption, Sacred Attunement is a work of uncommon personal integrity and originality from one of the most distinguished scholars of Judaica in our time.
The purpose of the text is threefold: to contribute to the renaissance of Husserl interpretation around the continuing publication of Husserl's manuscripts and unpublished manuscripts; to account for the historical origins and influence of the phenomenological project by articulating Husserl's relationship to authors before and after him; and to argue for the viability of the phenomenological project as conceived by Husserl in his later years.
In regard to the last purpose, Luft's main argument shows that Husserlian phenomenology is not exhausted in the Cartesian (early) perspective, which is indeed its weakest and most vulnerable perspective. Husserlian phenomenology is a robust and philosophically necessary perspective when taken from its hermeneutic (late) perspective.
The key point Luft brings into focus is that Husserl's hermeneutic phenomenology is distinct from other hermeneutic philosophers, namely, Cassirer, Heidegger and Gadamer. Unlike them, Husserl's focus centers on the work the subject must do in order to uncover the prejudices that guide his/her unreflective relationship to the world. Luft also demonstrates that there is a deep consistency within Husserl's own writings-from early to late-around the guiding themes of: the natural attitude, the need and function of the epoché, and the split between egos, where the transcendental self (distinct from the natural self) is seen as the fundamental ability we all have to inquire into the genesis of our tradition-laden attitudes toward the world.
SWEDENBORG AND ESOTERIC ISLAM
HENRY CORBIN Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 1995 Library of Congress BP189.7.I74C6713 1995 | Dewey Decimal 289.4092
This volume makes two essays by Henry Corbin, the eminent French scholar of Islam, available in English for the first time. Although his primary interest was the esoteric tradition of Islam, Corbin was also a lifelong student of the theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg. The first essay, "Mundus Imaginalis, or The Imaginary and the Imaginal," clarifies Corbin's use of the term he coined, mundus imaginalis, or "the imaginal world." This important concept appears in both Swedenborgian and esoteric Islamic spirituality. The second piece, "Comparative Spiritual Hermeneutics," compares the revelation of the internal sense of the sacred boks of two distinct religions, Christianity and Islam.
Questions of the nature of understanding and interpretation—hermeneutics—are fundamental in human life, though historically Westerners have tended to consider these questions within a purely Western context. In this comparative study, Zhang Longxi investigates the metaphorical nature of poetic language, highlighting the central figures of reality and meaning in both Eastern and Western thought: the Tao and the Logos. The author develops a powerful cross-cultural and interdisciplinary hermeneutic analysis that relates individual works of literature not only to their respective cultures, but to a combined worldview where East meets West. Zhang's book brings together philosophy and literature, theory and practical criticism, the Western and the non-Western in defining common ground on which East and West may come to a mutual understanding. He provides commentary on the rich traditions of poetry and poetics in ancient China; equally illuminating are Zhang's astute analyses of Western poets such as Rilke, Shakespeare, and Mallarmé and his critical engagement with the work of Foucault, Derrida, and de Man, among others. Wide-ranging and learned, this definitive work in East-West comparative poetics and the hermeneutic tradition will be of interest to specialists in comparative literature, philosophy, literary theory, poetry and poetics, and Chinese literature and history.
The Task of the Interpreter offers a new approach to what it means to interpret a text, and reconciles the possibility of multiple interpretations with the need to consider the author’s intention. Vandevelde argues that interpretation is both an act and an event: It is an act in that interpreters, through the statements they make, implicitly commit themselves to justifying their positions, if prompted. It is an event in that interpreters are situated in a cultural and historical framework and come to a text with questions, concerns, and methods of which they are not fully conscious. These two aspects make interpretation a negotiation of meaning. The Task of the Interpreter provides an interdisciplinary investigation of textual interpretation including biblical hermeneutics (Gregory the Great’s Homilies on Ezekiel), translation (Homer’s The Odyssey), and literary fictions (Grass’s Dog Years and Sabato’s On Heroes and Tombs). Vandevelde’s philosophical discussion will appeal to theorists of both continental and analytical/pragmatic traditions.
In The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism, Dimitri Ginev draws on developments in hermeneutic phenomenology and other programs in hermeneutic philosophy to inform an interpretative approach to scientific practices. At stake is the question of whether it is possible to integrate forms of reflection upon the ontological difference in the cognitive structure of scientific research. A positive answer would have implied a proof that (pace Heidegger) “science is able to think.” This book is an extended version of such a proof. Against those who claim that modern science is doomed to be exclusively committed to the nexus of objectivism and instrumental rationality, the interpretative theory of scientific practices reveals science’s potentiality of hermeneutic self-reflection. Scientific research that takes into consideration the ontological difference has resources to enter into a dialogue with Nature.
Ginev offers a critique of postmodern tendencies in the philosophy of science, and sets out arguments for a feminist hermeneutics of scientific research.
This volume presents a collection of studies on the methodology for conceiving the theological interpretation of the Hebrew Bible among Jews and Christians as well as the treatment of key issues such as creation, the land of Israel, and divine absence. Contributors include Georg Fischer, SJ, David Frankel, Benjamin J. M. Johnson, Soo J. Kim, Wonil Kim, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Julia M. O’Brien, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Marvin A. Sweeney, and Andrea L. Weiss.
Examination of metaphor, repentance, and shame in the presence of God
Ten essays addressing the nature of biblical theology from a Jewish, Christian, or critical perspective
Discussion of the changes that have taken place in the field of biblical theology since World War II
Unparalled in its poetry, richness, and religious and historical significance, the Hebrew Bible has been the site and center of countless commentaries, perhaps none as unique as Thinking Biblically. This remarkable collaboration sets the words of a distinguished biblical scholar, André LaCocque, and those of a leading philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, in dialogue around six crucial passages from the Old Testament: the story of Adam and Eve; the commandment "thou shalt not kill"; the valley of dry bones passage from Ezekiel; Psalm 22; the Song of Songs; and the naming of God in Exodus 3:14. Commenting on these texts, LaCocque and Ricoeur provide a wealth of new insights into the meaning of the different genres of the Old Testament as these made their way into and were transformed by the New Testament.
LaCocque's commentaries employ a historical-critical method that takes into account archaeological, philological, and historical research. LaCocque includes in his essays historical information about the dynamic tradition of reading scripture, opening his exegesis to developments and enrichments subsequent to the production of the original literary text. Ricoeur also takes into account the relation between the texts and the historical communities that read and interpreted them, but he broadens his scope to include philosophical speculation. His commentaries highlight the metaphorical structure of the passages and how they have served as catalysts for philosophical thinking from the Greeks to the modern age.
This extraordinary literary and historical venture reads the Bible through two different but complementary lenses, revealing the familiar texts as vibrant, philosophically consequential, and unceasingly absorbing.