AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW HERMENEUTIC by Paul J. Achtemeier

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW HERMENEUTIC

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hermeneutic is currently the name given to the process by which the Bible is interpreted. The ""new hermeneutic"" is the name given to a movement in theological thought concerned with the question whether an ancient text (The Bible) can be taken seriously by modern man as a basis for his affirmation of faith. It is, in the author's phrase, a way of ""doing theology."" Interest in the field of hermeneutics has accelerated today because of the rapidly widening cultural gap between the times in Which Christianity and its Biblical documents took shape and the world of modern man. Especially, the current assumption that all historical knowledge must be understood in terms of the particular cultural milieu in which it arose, has raised with new urgency the question of how meanings can be transferred from the ancient world to our own. The ""new hermeneutic"" arose in Germany out of the thought of such theologians and philosophers as Bultmann and Heidegger. Its chief exponents have been Ernst Fuchs and Gerhard Ebeling. In developing his exposition of this movement, Professor Achtemeier gives summaries of the thought of these thinkers. The scholar conversant with the technical matters involved will find this exposition clear if not convincing. The lay reader, hoping to find a helpful answer to the basic question of how the Bible can have meaning for him today may well conclude that what is needed is a believable interpretation of what the new hermeneutic is alt about. Perhaps this study gives one more hint that our theological dependence upon German scholarship as our primary resource has about reached the end of its usefulness.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1969
Publisher: Westminster