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From Ritual To Hermeneutics An Exploration With Ethical Intent

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Chapter Summary

Rituals exist in nearly all spheres of life, and are by no means exclusive to the areas of religion or the sacred. Hermeneutics is the theory and the method of the interpretation of texts or of linguistic documents. The relationship between ritual-oriented culture and interpretation-oriented culture, and the tensions underlying this relationship, will be the focus of this paper. According to Flusser, participation in ritual lies at the core of all religions and of Judaism in particular. A most remarkable debate is under way in which a flanking claim, as it were, is being elaborated. That claim is that the transition from ritual to hermeneutics" is a caesura in cultural history that is practically irrevocable. If ritual and religion are practically inseparable - and much suggests that they are - then in a ritual-poor culture religion too is subject to the conditions of textual or hermeneutic coherence.

Keywords: hermeneutics; interpretation-oriented culture; Judaism; ritual-oriented culture; rituals



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