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 Definition Study of the methods used in interpreting texts. [d] [e]


The first paragraph includes a reference to "all three of the monotheistic faiths". Those are Judaism, Christianity and Islam, I presume. If so, it would be more accurate to say "Abrahamic religions" and provide a wikilink. If not, it should be stated which faiths are being discussed. --Joe Quick 08:30, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Abrahamic religions does sound better. Within those religions, would the following be comsidered techniques of hermeneutics?
  • Judaism: Talmudic pilpul (maybe subschools), interpretation by a Hasidic rebbe, Kabala?
  • Christianity: not quite where to start, and there's the literalism argument with guaranteed accurate translation. Still, do the existence of the Douay and King James bibles count?
  • Islam: A lot of interesting issues here. I don't think the Sunni-Shi'a split has much to do with text, but two or three areas need to be considered, I think: Ijtihad, both individual and by trained scholars; the Hadithic schools, and a blurry line between fatwa and new territory. For example, Hassan al-Turabi in Sudan has held that participating in lesser jihad is an adequate substitute for the Hajj. Howard C. Berkowitz 11:15, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Yep, substituting "Abrahamic" seems appropriate, although it'd be interesting to know what in the way of non-Abrahamic hermeneutic strategies (etc.) there are. --Tom Morris 13:13, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

I agree that a broader perspective would be interesting. In fact, I hope to get around to starting an article on the Popul Vuh someday, which will necessarily include a section on the study of the text for the purposes of divination. The purpose of my comment above was simply to point out that there probably aren't a whole lot of people who could guess the "three monotheistic faiths" and there are some people who could name more than three. :-) --Joe Quick 14:10, 16 July 2008 (CDT)
And, of course, one is monotheistic and trinitarian. (signed) "Brother Cattle Prod of Looking at All Sides of the Question" (see Howard C. Berkowitz 14:25, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

The definition of Hermeneutics as "the understanding of how one interprets texts" could perhaps be a little expanded and resorted. Is it not more relevant to current hermeneutics today, that it is a non-methodological approach of “Understanding”, resulting from work by for eg. Dilthey, Husserl, Heidegger to Gademer, and the work of Schleiermacher (you mentioned his understanding as ‘special hermeneutic practices’), Ast, Droysen, Humboldt and Boeckh on philosophical and philological bases? Hermeneutics addresses not merely “interpretations” of texts; it researches the nature, methods and assumptions of disciplines. It is well accepted that these philosophers set the basis for a new approach to modern Hermeneutics. Gademer’s attempt to ‘recast’ Hermeneutics is only a natural development of his pre-thinkers. Even Schleiermacher revolutionised the older ‘interpretation’ perception of eighteenth-century and earlier Hermeneutics; i.e. Hermeneutics was defined as the "art of interpretation" since Alexandrian and the following middle ages, up to Wolff's truth in logic. It could be mentioned, perhaps in chronological order, that there are other definitions.

Interestingly also, the etymology of Hemeneutics is a term related to Hermes, messenger of the gods. Hermes could speak to the gods and humans. Hermes had to interpret and translate the messages of the gods to humans. In post enlightenment terminology it is the use of language, communication and interpretation to convey messages (as studied in modern communication sciences), it, therefore, not only investigates the “methods of interpretation” or e.g. the “scientific methodology”; it deals not merely with literary and religious texts, in terms of the classical hermeneutic circle, but also e.g. investigates the scientific method of defining hypotheses, the observation of causal phenomena and the resulting 'particular' interpretation of these phenomena. --Lando Leonhardt Lehmann 14:40, 27 July 2008 (CDT)

You'll get no argument from me as to improving the definition. Go for it! --Tom Morris 15:37, 27 July 2008 (CDT)
Will do in the next few weeks; thanks for the invite to work with you on the article. --Lando Leonhardt Lehmann 15:54, 27 July 2008 (CDT)
I agree that the hermeneutics article needs to be expanded to reflect modern hermeneutics. Modern hermeneutics has broadened to encompass the whole process of interpretation from start to finish, including not just the written texts, but also verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. I already added sources to the bibliography, and will be working on expanding this article in addition to related articles such as Biblical hermeneutics. Mark Harris 00:52, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd also like to see it modified to bear something more akin to "interpretation of symbols" a la Ricouer and French poststructuralists who carried hermeneutics to its present iteration. There should also be a stronger distinction between the earlier textual hermeneutics practiced by religious scholars and the contemporary ideology of philosophical hermeneutics (Heidegger, Gadamer, etc). --Christopher M. Roussel 1 May 2009 17:33 UTC.

A good example can be found in a very good article at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy : Hermeneutics - up to point 8. How can this article be added as "Further Reading" on the bottom of the CZ article? --Lando Leonhardt Lehmann 16:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)