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hermeneutics

Subject: Religion

The branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts.

hermeneutics

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The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science & Medicine (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2007

... The science of interpretations. The word hermeneutics derives from a term for interpreting scriptural texts, but in sociology hermeneutics refers to a theory and method of interpreting cultures in general and literal texts in particular. One of its concerns is evaluating the truth of multiple interpretations of a particular phenomenon. For example, hermeneutic research on the behaviour of soccer fans includes the different interpretations of the fans themselves, and the interpretations of other observers who may include the...

hermeneutics

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A Dictionary of Social Research Methods

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
118 words

...hermeneutics The study of meanings in text and other observed communicative acts such as visual images. Historically, hermeneutics was associated with the close analysis of competing meanings attributed to key texts such as biblical studies. In the twentieth century its scope was extended in particular by Martin Heidegger ( 1889–1976 ), who identified the grounds of hermeneutics as the shared ‘being-in-the-world’ of producer and interpreter. This allows the interpreter to develop a crucial ‘pre-understanding’ of the text. In qualitative analysis the...

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A Dictionary of Geography (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... The theory and methodology of interpretation. P. Cloke, C. Philo, and D. Sadler ( 1991 ) argue that the term is used as the study of the relations between humans and...

hermeneutics

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
67 words

... The interpretation of texts or, more broadly, of those media in and through which people convey meaning. Hermeneutics involves the analyst seeking to look beyond their own ‘horizon of meaning’ in order to truly understand how another person, group, or culture interprets the world. In human geography, the hermeneutic method and sensibility were central to the development of humanistic geography from the 1970s...

hermeneutics

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A Dictionary of Sports Studies

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Social sciences, Society and culture
Length:
81 words

... In philosophy, and forms of social theory, this is the term for the systematic study of processes of understanding, and within that the interpretation of the meaning of both social actions and texts. For the meaning of sport practices, or actions, to be probed in any depth, or for the interpretive analysis of textual representations of sport (in media or literary forms, for instance), a hermeneutic perspective provides philosophical and theoretical foundations for any adequate exploration. See also depth hermeneutic...

hermeneutics

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Religion
Length:
151 words

... . The science of the methods of exegesis . Whereas exegesis is usually the act of explaining a text, hermeneutics is the science or art by which exegetical procedures are devised. In theology hermeneutical theory arises out of awareness of the ambiguity of a sacred text and the consequent analysis of the art of understanding. The Protestant emphasis on the importance of Scripture and belief in the possibility of comprehending it, encouraged reflection on the act of understanding, as well as a return to more literal exegesis. In modern times F. D....

Hermeneutics

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Anand Amaladass

The Oxford Encyclopaedia of South Asian Christianity

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2012

...Exegesis: Hindu–Buddhist Hermeneutics , Chennai: Satya Nilayam. Caputo, J.D. (1987), Radical Hermeneutics: Repetition, Deconstruction and the Hermeneutic Project , Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Eco, U. (1990), The Limits of Interpretation , Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Gadamer, H.G. (1989), Truth and Method , New York: Continuum. Ricoeur, P. (1974), Conflict of Interpretations: Essays in Hermeneutics , Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Thiselton, A.C. (1992), New Horizons in Hermeneutics: The Theory and Practice of...

hermeneutics

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The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

... hermeneutic circle , and involves basic problems such as the possibility of establishing a determinate meaning in a text, the role of the author’s intention, the historical relativity of meanings, and the status of the reader’s contribution to a text’s meaning. A significant modern branch of this hermeneutic tradition is reception theory . See also phenomenology . Further reading: Peter Szondi , Introduction to Literary Hermeneutics ...

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Crina Gschwandtner

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Religion
Length:
527 words

...to history. Early on, Heidegger also spoke of his work as a hermeneutic phenomenology. Other thinkers include Lonergan , E. Betti, U. Perrone. The two most important hermeneutic thinkers in the 20th cent. were Gadamer and Ricoeur . ( Derrida , G. Vattimo, R. Rorty, and C. Taylor are sometimes also counted as hermeneutic thinkers.) Hermeneutics contends that understanding a text operates in circular fashion (the ‘hermeneutic circle’), namely in the interplay between parts and wholes: one understands a part by seeing it context of the whole,...

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The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Linguistics
Length:
88 words

... Movement in the philosophy of science, according to which the task of the human sciences is to elucidate the structure of the social institutions underlying behaviour. Thus the aim of linguistics, as one human (and therefore ‘hermeneutic’) science, is to elucidate the rules of language, seen as rules that constitute such an institution. From a term that usually means ‘interpretation’ or ‘exegesis’. The movement developed in Germany in the 1960s; its ideas were applied to linguistics in the 1970s, in opposition especially to those of Chomsky...

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Lincoln Allison

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
275 words

... In Greek a hermeneus was an interpreter and the word probably originates from the name of Hermes, messenger of the gods and epitome of eloquence. In all its nineteenth‐century uses and definitions hermeneutics was agreed to be the art and science of interpretation, primarily, though not exclusively, of religious texts. A more specific implication was that hermeneutics was concerned with real and hidden meanings, quite different from the elucidation and concern with practical application which was the concern of exegesis . In the twentieth century,...

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The Oxford Companion to Western Art

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Art & Architecture
Length:
189 words

... , term adopted from ancient Greek culture. It is the art and methodology of interpreting texts, speech, actions, and similar cultural manifestations. In theology it is the interpretation, afresh for each generation, of the spiritual truths of the Scriptures. Since the early 20th century hermeneutics has been developed from the impetus of Wilhelm Dilthey's ( 1833–1911 ) account of Verstehen , a special form of understanding that works to comprehend something in the context of its cultural milieu and its individual origins. The term ‘hermeneutic...

hermeneutics

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M. J. Inwood

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
841 words

... . The name of Hermes, the messenger of the Greek gods, gave rise to hermēneuein , ‘to interpret’, and hermēneutike ( technē ) is the ‘art of interpretation’. It became important after the Reformation, when Protestants needed to interpret the Bible accurately. Medieval hermeneutics ascribed to the Bible four levels of meaning: literal, allegorical, tropological (moral), and anagogical (eschatological). But the Reformation insisted on literal or ‘grammatical’ exegesis and on the study of Hebrew and Greek. Modern hermeneutics falls into three phases....

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Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

... The study of interpretation and the meaning of human action, historically rooted in the problem of determining the original meaning of biblical scripture. The interpretation of cultural artifacts—primarily texts—remains at the center of the hermeneutical tradition, although hermeneutical principles were extended by scholars such as Wilhelm Dilthey and Karl Mannheim , and more recently Hans-Georg Gadamer , Paul Ricoeur , and Charles Taylor , to the problem of interpretation more generally. Modern hermeneutics tends to dispense with or...

hermeneutics

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The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
288 words

...literary theory, a return to hermeneutic problems is found in Validity in Interpretation ( 1967 ) by E. D. Hirsch ( 1928–  ) which distinguishes between a work's determinate ‘meaning’ and its variable ‘significance’, and in various alternatives to his view. An especially influential modern hermeneuticist was the French philosopher Paul Ricœur ( 1913–2005 ), who noted a distinction between the religious ‘hermeneutics of the sacred’, which seeks to restore an original meaning that has become obscured, and the modern ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’, which seeks...

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A Concise Companion to the Jewish Religion

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
150 words

... The science of biblical exegesis by the early Talmudic Rabbis in accordance with certain rules. The idea behind the system is that the full implications of the biblical laws can only be ascertained by a close scrutiny of the text for which the hermeneutic principles provide the key. The employment of seven hermeneutical principles is attributed in the sources to Hillel . But the formulation of thirteen principles by the first- to second-century teacher, Rabbi Ishmael , is the usually accepted formulation, appearing in the standard Prayer Book as...

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The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005

...the Gospels and later communities wishing to lead their lives in accordance with Gospel precepts. Hermeneutics characteristically addresses questions about where interpretation starts, what assumptions it makes, and which assumptions are indispensable. More recently, through the work of Roland Barthes and others—in S/Z ( 1970 ) Barthes identifies a ‘hermeneutic code’ in narrative, a strand which involves the ravelling and unravelling of an enigma—‘hermeneutic’ has come to designate the practice of deriving meaning from a text, as distinct from, say,...

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A Dictionary of Nursing (8 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
Medicine and health
Length:
48 words

... [her-mĕ- newt -iks] n. the practice of interpreting literary and historical texts in relation to one another and to their various contexts. By extension, interpreting an ill patient in terms of history taking, physical examination, diagnostic tests, and listening to the patient’s account of their own...

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A Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
70 words

... The method of interpretation first of texts, and secondly of the whole social, historical, and psychological world. The problems were familiar to Vico , and raised in connection with biblical criticism by Schleiermacher . Under the title of Verstehen the method of interpretation was contrasted with objective scientific method by Weber and Dilthey . Its inevitable subjectivity is the topic of the major writings of Gadamer...

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Concise Medical Dictionary (10 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020
Subject:
Medicine and health, Clinical Medicine
Length:
52 words

... n. the practice of interpreting literary and historical texts in relation to one another and to their various contexts. By extension, in clinical ethics , interpreting the ‘text’ of an ill patient in terms of history taking, physical examination, diagnostic tests, and listening to the patient’s account of their own...

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