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Introduction To The Project And A Description Of Wirkungsgeschichte

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Chapter Summary

The Wirkungsgeschichte of a biblical text includes commentaries and sermons, but also extends to letters, sculptures, paintings, proverbial sayings, cartoons, hymns and lyrics, even jokes and graf ti-in fact anything which can be shown to be an 'effect' of the text. The historian who studies the Wirkungsgeschichte of a text looks at the implications of the historical changes in interpretation. The concept of Wirkungsgeschichte did not originate under the umbrella of any particular critical method, but began as a philosophical idea about the nature of reading. The aim of this chapter is to explore what this idea is, what benets it can offer interpreters of the New Testament, how it relates to other methods of interpretation, and what its pitfalls might be. One particular strength of Wirkungsgeschichte as an insight into the interpretative process lies in the way it combines the objective and the subjective.

Keywords:biblical text; New Testament; Wirkungsgeschichte

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