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Contemplative NationA Philosophical Account of Jewish Theological Language$
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Cass Fisher

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776646

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776646.001.0001

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Hermeneutic Theory and the Study of Jewish Theology

Hermeneutic Theory and the Study of Jewish Theology

Toward a New Model of Jewish Theological Language

(p.21) 1 Hermeneutic Theory and the Study of Jewish Theology
Contemplative Nation
Stanford University Press

This chapter analyzes the leading hermeneutic theories of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, focusing on the ways in which such theories can advance the study of Jewish theology. It discusses Gadamer's magnum opus, Truth and Method, to shed light on the dynamics of interpretation across great historical distance, the interpretive processes within Judaism, and the challenges scholars of Judaism have faced in interpreting theological ideas that conflict with contemporary philosophical and theological sensibilities. Ricoeur's most significant contributions to the study of Jewish theology revolve around his analysis of the various forms of biblical discourse and his concern for the limits of theological language. Ricoeur argues that all the forms of biblical discourse, such as narrative, law, prophecy, wisdom, and poetry, reflect a distinct aspect of the divine-human relationship and, like Gadamer, also seeks to answer the question of what account of truth is appropriate to the arts and humanities. His hermeneutic theory borrows in part from Gottlob Frege.

Keywords:   Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, theology, Judaism, theological language, Truth and Method, biblical discourse, truth, hermeneutic theory, Gottlob Frege

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