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Contemporary Hermeneutics - Interpretation Theory

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Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation theory, and can be either the art of interpretation, or the theory and practice of interpretation. In traditional hermeneutic (including Biblical hermeneutics as well) refers to the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially in the areas of religion, law and literature. Contemporary hermeneutics comprises not only issues involving the written texts but includes everything that is included in the interpretative process (pp. 67-69).

The basic premise of religious apologists during the last century was that modern thought was to be founded upon and rational principles of critical thought universal and autonomous. This premise has also come to be known as modern foundationalism. Post-modernism is a theological term that is used to describe those theologians who have lost confidence in this modern idea. A related term is post-critical. Post-critical evangelicalism might be seen as is an adherence to the Trinitarian faith of the Christian Church without the modern foundationalism and without the notion of irrefutable Christian orthodoxy. Some forms of this post-modernism tend toward the extreme of irrationalism and appear more like the recalcitrant children of modernism because they are more intent on the deconstruction of the idea of autonomous reasoning than in anything else (pp.60-64).

Post-criticalism is a term used to indicate an appreciation for critical thinking, but it is more modest in its claims about what it claims and recognizes that all knowledge and wisdom entails personal and subjective aspects. In terms of the claims of modern, objectivist thinking, it purports to have obtained irrefutable truth that is independent of subjective and personal experiences and is no longer considered viable any more (p.30).

If one claims to be post-critical, they value a synthesis between subjective and objective dimensions of reality. They do this without falling into extremes of Romantic subjectivism (even the race mysticism as Fascism) and/or Nietzschean nihilism (pp.65-71). On the other lies dualism of fact and a value which is placed on Enlightenment thought on the other hand. Post-critical evangelical theology and related religious thought that focuses instead on the narrative of history and hermeneutics as a means of validating faith as opposed to the verification epistemology of modern rational objectivism. The premodern world focused on ontology while the modern world focused on epistemology (p. 46). The postmodern world then focused on hermeneutics. A post-critical evangelical theological methodology seeks to grab hold of the best insights of all three approaches and uses them as a basis of conversation with contemporary theology (p. 30).

In Moltmann's concept of the Trinitarian Concept of God, he maintains that the trinitarian persons are not "modes of being" but are individual, non-interchangeable and subjects of the one common, divine substance,



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