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Chapter Summary

This conclusory chapter begins with the consideration of Gadamer's philosophy of hermeneutics. Gadamer highlights the importance of becoming aware of the own historical situation as readers within a tradition. Enlightenment thought was sceptical of tradition as a source of reliable knowledge because it was based on worn out preconceptions (even superstitions) without a rational basis and was always retrograde. The aim then was to replace tradition with rational investigation. Postmodernism pointed out that 'rational investigation' is limited, culturebound and contextual. One practical way to become conscious of how one is being 'historically effected' is to examine interpretations of a text made at other times and in other places. The gathering and investigation of 'effects' is only one stage in developing an interpretation; another important stage involves the close reading of the biblical text.

Keywords:biblical text; Gadamer's philosophy; postmodernism; rational investigation



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