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Hermeneutics at the Crossroads (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion) Paperback – June 15, 2006
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About the Author
Kevin Vanhoozer is Research Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
James K. A. Smith is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of Seminars in Christian Scholarship at Calvin College.
Bruce Ellis Benson is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College.
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There are essays to reflect a variety of approaches and appreciations. For example, those who sympathize with preserving the intentions of the author will appreciate the perspectives of Vanhoozer and Wolterstorff. On the other hand, the essay of James K.A. Smith discusses the relevancy of some of Derrida's perspectives for biblical interpretation. Benson's essay draws parallels between the improvisation of jazz and the process of interpretation and Faber even takes a peak at the theater! Yet what holds together these diverse essays are still some of the most fundamental issues confronting interpreters including the issues of authorial intent, the role of the reader, and the ontology of the text.
While I think many of these essays would be interesting to the non-churchman the essays are situated in the particular context of faith. To that I say, "It's about time!" It is encouraging to see these thoughtful and diverse essays exploring key hermeneutical issues in a constructive dialogue. Here's hoping that more of this will follow in the future.
One more essay of note that I would be remiss if I failed to mention is Echeverria's essay on Gadamer and relativism. Ah, so many good essays in this collection!
I have engaged a few of the key essays in this collection at my blog, The Theos Project. (You can just do a simple Google search for "Theos Project.") The essays have sparked some stimulating discussion, with James K.A. Smith even dropping by for a few comments. And my blog is not the only place where I am seeing these essays pop up around the internet. So, add this book to your shopping cart and get to reading so you can join in the ongoing discussion. I believe that a few of these essays will be important for helping to set the tone of the future discussion of hermeneutics and the interpretation of Scripture, so keep on top of the conversation!
A parenthetical note: These essays presuppose some prior knowledge of hermeneutics and/or appreciation for the finer points of literature interpretation.
Winona Lake, Indiana