In Hermeneutics as a Theory of Understanding readers will walk with Petr Pokorny in and around his beloved field of hermeneutics as he explores a number of basic issues in understanding--from language in general to the interpretation of the Bible in particular.
Pokorny first addresses the world of language, showing the importance of understanding language thoroughly in terms of its vocabulary, syntax, and pragmatics, while keeping a keen eye open for metaphor and myth. Next he focuses on text, examining its graphic character, its misuse, and its silence--its frustrating inability to answer questions posed to it.
The third stop on Pokorn}'s tour--methods of interpretation--looks at translation, rhetorical criticism, and historical methodologies of interpretation. Here he argues not only that the encounter between texts and readers is rife with problems in communication but also that these impediments can be overcome by returning again and again to the text until it makes clear its relevance to the present.
In the final segment of his wide-ranging hermeneutical journey, Pokorn} examines the nature of interpretation itself, celebrating especially its capacity to bridge the gap--or even the abyss--that divides the world of the text and the lived world of the reader, creating a dialogue between the two that can overcome the silence of the written word.
James H. Charlesworth
What is 'hermeneutics,' and what are the best methods for discerning the eternal in the ephemeral or God's Word in scriptural words? To supply answers, Pokorný has crafted this wonderful and deeply inspiring book...He blends together disciplines--philosophy, philology, phenomenology, and theology--that tend to shed each other like oil and water...Pokorny shows how two worlds, our own and the authors' world, merge in ways that transcend finite methodologies.
-Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
"This little gem of a book places hermeneutics in its original context of biblical interpretation and so renders it both intelligible and available to wider philosophical enquiry. Petr Pokorný combines superb theological scholarship with philosophical understanding and the skills of an accomplished narrator. The result is a book that can both delight a scholar and serve as a text for a course in hermeneutics...A dashing good read!
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