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The fifth book in the Church and Postmodern Culture Series, Whose Community? Which Interpretation? is Merold Westphal's introduction to philosophical thinking as it relates to Scriptural interpretation. Westphal, a renowed philosopher, recognizes that no theology is completely free of philosophical thought or argument, and therefore a hermeneutic from this system of thought must be carefully developed in conjunction with our understanding of God's Word. Westphal provides a historic overview of contemporary theories of interpretation, while addressing postmodern hermeneutical theory. He argues here that the relativity embraced in postmodern thought is not the same as an "anything goes" kind of relativism. Ultimately, Westphal encourages us to embrace the proliferation of interpretations as a way to best get at the richness of the biblical text.
In this volume, renowned philosopher Merold Westphal introduces current philosophical thinking related to interpreting the Bible. Recognizing that no theology is completely free of philosophical "contamination," he engages and mines contemporary hermeneutical theory in service of the church. After providing a historical overview of contemporary theories of interpretation, Westphal addresses postmodern hermeneutical theory, arguing that the relativity embraced there is not the same as the relativism in which "anything goes." Rather, Westphal encourages us to embrace the proliferation of interpretations based on different perspectives as a way to get at the richness of the biblical text.
Merold Westphal (PhD, Yale University) is distinguished professor of philosophy at Fordham University in Bronx, New York, where he has taught for more than twenty years. His many publications include Postmodern Philosophy and Christian Thought and Overcoming Onto-Theology.