Re-Imagining Text - Re-Imagining Hermeneutics

Authors

  • Christopher Duncanson-Hales Saint Paul University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i1.87

Keywords:

Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics, Text, Interpretation, Dasein, Productive Imagination

Abstract

With the advent of the digital age and new mediums of communication, it is becoming increasingly important for those interested in the interpretation of religious text to look beyond traditional ideas of text and textuality to find the sacred in unlikely places. Philosophical and theological hermeneutics have been invigorated by a de-regionalization of the interpretation of texts that corresponds with this journal’s mandate to “cross traditional boundaries, bringing different disciplinary tools to the process of analysis and opening up a sustained dialogue between and among scholars and others who are interested in religion, textuality, media, and mediation and the contemporary world.” Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological reorientation of classical hermeneutics from romanticized notions of authorial intent and psychological divinations to a serious engagement with the “science of the text” is a hermeneutical tool that opens up an important dialogue between the interpreter, the world of the text, and the contemporary world in front of the text. This article examines three significant insights that Paul Ricoeur contributes to our expanding understanding of text. First under scrutiny will be Ricoeur’s de-regionalization of classic hermeneutics culminating in his understanding of Dasein (Being) as “being-in-the-world,” allowing meaning to transcend the physical boundaries of the text. Next, Ricoeur’s threefold under-standing of traditionality/Traditions/tradition as the “chain of interpretations” through which religious language transcends the temporal boundary of historicity will be explored. The final section will focus on Ricoeur’s understanding of the productive imagination and metaphoric truth as the under-appreciated yet key insight around which Ricoeur’s philosophical investigation into the metaphoric transfer from text to life revolves.

References

Castelli, Elizabeth A. 2004. “The Ekklesia of Women And/as Utopian Space: Locating the Work of Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in Feminist Utopian Thought.” In On the Cutting Edge: The Study of Women in Biblical Worlds: Essays in Honor of Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, edited by Jane Schaberg, Alice Bach, and Esther Fuchs, 36–52. New York: Contiuum.

———. n.d. “Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts and Contemporary Worlds”. Journal Portal. http://www.equinoxjournals.com/POST/index.

Chevannes, Barry. 1994. Rastafari: Roots and Ideology. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press.

Davison, Phil. 2006. “Mortimo Planno.” The Guardian, March 23, sec. World news. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2006/mar/23/guardianobituaries.reli¬gion. Accessed September 10, 2013.

Dussel, Enrique D., and Eduardo Mendieta. 1999. The Underside of Modernity: Apel, Ricoeur, Rorty, Taylor, and the Philosophy of Liberation. Amherst, NY: Humanity Books.

Edmonds, Ennis B. 1998. “The Structure and Ethos of Rastafari.” In Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader, edited by Nathaniel S. Murrell, William David Spencer, and Adrian Anthony McFarlane, 349-360. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Fanon, Frantz. 1965. The Wretched of the Earth. Translated by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press.

———.1967. Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Constance Farrington. New York: Grove Press.

Gadamer, Hans-Georg. 2004. Truth and Method. 2nd, rev. ed. Translated by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. New York: Continuum.

Kearney, Richard. 2004a. Debates in Continental Philosophy. New York: Fordham University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823223176.001.0001

———.2004b. On Paul Ricoeur: The Owl of Minerva. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 2007. The Merleau-Ponty Reader. Edited by Ted Toadvine and Leonard Lawlor. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Moltmann, Ju?rgen. 2000. Experiences in Theology: Ways and Forms of Christian Theology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Murrell, Nathaniel and Burchell K. Taylor. 1998. “The Black Biblical Hermeneutics of Rastafari.” In Chanting down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader, edited by Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, William David Spencer, and Adrian Anthony McFarlane, 326–349. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Nielsen, Cynthia R. 2011. “Resistance Through Re-Narration: Fanon on De-Constructing Racialized Subjectivities.” African Identities 9: 363–385. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2011.614410

Planno, Mortimo. 2006. The Earth Most Strangest Man. New York: Comitas Institute for Anthropological Study. www.cifas.us/material/earth-most-strangest-man. Accessed September 10, 2013.

Ricoeur, Paul. 1974a. The Conflict of Interpretations. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

———. 1974b. “Metaphor and the Main Problem of Hermeneutics.” New Literary History 6: 95–110.

———. 1975. “Biblical Hermeneutics.” Semeia 4: 29–148.

———. 1977. Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation. Translated by Denis Savage. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

———. 1978. “The Metaphorical Process as Cognition, Imagination, and Feeling.” Critical Inquiry 5: 143–159. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/447977

———. 1981. Hermeneutics and the Human Sciences: Essays on Language, Action, and Interpretation. Translated by John B Thompson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

———. 1984. Time and Narrative. Vol. 1. 3 vols. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226713519.001.0001

———. 1988. Time and Narrative. Vol. 2. 3 vols. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226713533.001.0001

———. 1991. From Text to Action. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

———. 1995. Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

———. 2003. The Rule of Metaphor. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

———. 2006. On Translation. New York: Routledge.

———. 2009. Imagination Lectures: Chicago, 1975. Edited by George Taylor. Pittsburgh, PA: unpublished manuscript.

Stiver, Dan. 2001. Theology After Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

Taylor, George H. 2006. “Ricoeur’s Philosophy of Imagination.” Journal of French Philosophy 16: 93.

Van den Hengel, John. 2010. “Practical Theology and the Emergence of New Self.” Unpublished manuscript.

Westphal, Merold. 2001. Overcoming Onto-Theology Toward a Postmodern Christian Faith. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823221301.001.0001

Published

2014-01-13

How to Cite

Duncanson-Hales, C. (2014). Re-Imagining Text - Re-Imagining Hermeneutics. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 7(1), 87–122. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i1.87

Issue

Section

Articles