Paul Ricoeur was Professor of Philosophy and Theology in the Faculty of Arts at Paris-Nanterre, then was the successor to Paul Tillich at the University of Chicago.
This book was published in 1980 by Fortress Press. It was prepared for Religion-Online by Harry W. and Grace C. Adams.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Paul Ricoeur presents a hermeneutics of biblical interpretation from his position as a philosopher, aided by Lewis Mudge’s clarification of Ricoeur’s thought.
The editor offers an account of the origin and development of this book.
As a philosopher Ricoeur attempts to develop a hermeneutical phenomenology of biblical interpretation that takes seriously the metaphorically symbolic language of the Bible while asking if it is true, how we can tell, and how we can receive it.
The hermeneutic problem in Christianity is that it seeks an interpretation of a text that is itself an interpretation of the kerygma, which in turn is a proclamation about God in Christ. Ricoeur enters a dialectic with Bultmann’s hermeneutic that includes references to deLubac, Jonas, Kant, Hermann, Barth, Dilthey, Heidegger, Frege, Husserl and Luther.
The author evolves a hermeneutics of Revelation by entering into a dialectic between the concept of biblical revelation as seen in various types of biblical discourse, and the concept of philosophical reason that engages classical and contemporary philosophy in their own categories.
In seeking a philosophy of testimony that can accommodate a concept of the absolute, Ricoeur explores the semantic difficulties involved and concludes that such a philosophy can only be a hermeneutics, that is, a philosophy of interpretation.
The concept of religious freedom has philosophical respectability only through a hermeneutics of hope based on the eschatology of the kerygma and the resurrection.
Responding to Mudge’s attempt to provide a coherent overview of his writings, Ricouer offers clarifications that trace the paths of his thinking.
Biblical interpretation is not simply study of the Bible's meaning. Historically, it has also served as a primary medium for cultural and religious exchange between the great religious traditions of the West. Focusing on moments of signal interest in the history of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptural interpretation from the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods, Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange offers a unique comparative perspective. Each of the essays treats its subject in relation to the larger cultural context and to other contemporary interpretative traditions. Sources and authors examined in the book include late biblical and early postbiblical compositions, rabbinic legal and homiletical interpretation, Jerome and other early Christian exegetes, Islamic exegesis in both the Qur'an and early Muslim tradition, medieval Jewish and Christian exegetes, and biblical interpretation as evidenced in early modern illustrations of biblical scenes. The histories of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic interpretation are presented not merely as parallel but as deeply interrelated, not only as reacting and polemicizing against each other but often as appropriating the tools and methods of their rival traditions. Biblical exegesis thus emerges as a forum of active and intense cultural exchange. The volume comes at a crucial time in the study of Jewish relations with Christianity and Islam, and shows how deeply connected and intertwined these three religious traditions truly are.