Monday, November 8, 2010

The foundation of secular biblical hermeneutics

Biblicists do not generally believe that Scripture is meaningless, inadvertently meaningful, or laden with such a surfeit of possible meanings that championing any particular one might be described as an expression of one’s ideological commitments. Although by no stretch of the imagination an uncritical cohort, exegetes are not inclined to pursue or articulate conclusions of this nature. One need not be a sociologist of knowledge to understand why. Still, it bears repeating that our secular outrages are parasitic on the most fundamental premises of this religiously inflected discipline. To their immense credit, biblical exegetes—who are rarely secularists—have produced all the explosive raw materials. Secular hermeneutics differs mainly in its critical orientation—its eagerness to detonate.

Berlinerblau, Jacques. The Secular Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. p. 52.

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