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hermeneutics

"Seemingly opposed views within the authoritative deposit of the text can often be reconciled by observing the development of a thought throughout the works of the author in question, by the establishment of the best texts, and by the application of hermeneutical dialectic." - Peter Abelard

hermeneutics

Exegesis is synonymous with hermeneutics.

Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts.

In contemporary usage in religious studies, hermeneutics refers to the study of the interpretation of religious texts.

Hermeneutics is more broadly used in contemporary philosophy to denote the study of theories and methods of the interpretation of all texts and systems of meaning.

The concept of "text" is here extended beyond written documents to any number of conceptual constructs subject to interpretation, such as experiences.

A hermeneutic is defined as a specific system or method for interpretation, or a specific theory of interpretation.

In essence hermeneutics involves cultivating the ability to understand things from somebody else's point of view, to put oneself in another's shoes, to empathize and to appreciate the cultural and social forces that may have influenced their perspective.

Hermeneutics is the process of applying this understanding to interpreting the meaning of written texts and symbolic artifacts (such as art or sculpture or architecture), which may be either historic or contemporary.



hermeneutic circle

Hermeneutic Circle

The Hermeneutic Circle describes the process of understanding a text hermeneutically.

The Hermeneutic Circle refers to the idea that one's understanding of the text as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole.

Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. However, this circular character of interpretation does not make it impossible to interpret a text; rather, it stresses that the meaning of a text must be found within its cultural, historical, and literary context.

A common use of the word hermeneutics refers to a process of scriptural interpretation.

Throughout religious history scholars and students of religious texts have sought to mine the wealth of their meanings by developing a variety of different systems of hermeneutics.

Philosophical hermeneutics in particular can be seen as a development of scriptural hermeneutics, providing a theoretical backing for various interpretive projects. Thus, philosophical and scriptural hermeneutics can be seen as mutually reinforcing practices.



Collapsing Hermeneutic Circle

Collapsing Hermeneutic Circle

Hermeneutics as a general science of text interpretation can be traced back to two sources.

One source was the ancient Greek rhetoricians' study of literature, which came to fruition in Alexandria.

The other source has been the Midrashic and Patristic traditions of Biblical exegesis, which were contemporary with Hellenistic culture.

Scholars in antiquity expected a text to be coherent, consistent in grammar, style and outlook, and they amended obscure or "decadent" readings to comply with their codified rules. By extending the perception of inherent logic of texts, Greeks were able to attribute works of uncertain origin.

Exegesis (from the Greek - 'to lead out') involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture or sacred text, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Qur'an, etc.



Holy Ghost


Exegesis of sacred scripture in Christianity "reveals" how the Holy Spirit inspired the authors of the scriptural texts to pen divine revelations.

Exegesis also is used for the elucidation of philosophical and legal texts.

Hermeneutic passions are the desires to know another and be known by them - to create fellowship. By empathetically entering into a text - in a living interpretation of a text - the reader both appreciates the text as written and relates the text to his/her own personal experiences.



Unstable Hermeneutic Circle

Unstable Hermeneutic Circle

"Hermeneutical understanding can be described as follows: first of all we have to understand and be guided by understanding, while the understanding sphere is not limited to science. Other disciplines, which do not belong to science but are essential in comprehending, should also be involved. Distance is a domain of such "understanding". In result objectivity can appear only when methods of investigations and measurements have been devised." - Marcin Furman, Akademia Pomorska, Slupsku

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