Hermeneutics and perspicuity

I have many a time battled with postees here, protesting that their interpretation is just interpretation as is mine. I can't accept that they have a 'plain reading' anymore than I am purporting that what I am doing is by any means 'plain'.

I have often lightened the tone, so as not to alarm, by reminding fellow bloggers that one day it will all be clear when we see him face to face and so I too have seen hermeneutics as very much a by-product of the fall.

Well, tomorrow I might be just introduced to a way of thinking that will redeem this way of reading which I have considered somewhat cursed and begin to wonder whether there might be something intrinsically very 'good' about our Christian pluralism and denominational difference.

More tomorrow, but for now a little of my reading from  The Fall of Interpretation: Philosophical Foundations for a Creational Hermeneutic by James K. A. Smith

The Fall then destroyed the pristine perspicuity of Edenic immediacy, where "knowing was not hindered by the space of interpretation. Of course, the story doesn’t end there: redemption is a restoration of this interpretive paradise (at least for these evangelical readers) by the illumination of the Spirit coupled with the perspicuity of Scripture. Hermeneutics is a curse, but it is one from which we can be redeemed in the here and now; we can return from mediation to immediacy, from distortion to "perfect clarity" and from interpretation to "pure reading." 

Fascinating stuff!


Anonymous said...


Have you read " A Hermeneutic of Herman's Hermits'?

"I'm into something goood.."


DDD III said...

I'm chasing down the book now. The sentences you quoted seem to be onto something.


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions