The Range of Interpretation

The Range of Interpretation

The Range of Interpretation

The Range of Interpretation

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to bring interpretation under close scrutiny, not least as there is a widespread opinion that such an activity is something that comes naturally. What, however, does not come naturally, are the forms interpretation takes; thus their inspection will be the main objective of the argument of this book. An anatomy of interpretation is all the more pertinent as we currently witness a burgeoning of its genres, so that interpretation is no longer to be identified with hermeneutics, as it has been in the past. Instead, hermeneutics is just a prominent genre dealing basically with texts that are opened up for understanding. But when it comes to interpreting something that is neither textual nor scripted, such as culture, entropy, or even the incommensurable, the procedures of interpretation are bound to change. Highlighting these changes is the basic intent of the following chapters.

Chapter 1, the introduction glances briefly at the marketplace of interpretation in order to spotlight the main trends and pinpoints what the different genres of interpretation have in common, namely, being acts of translation that transpose something into something else.

Chapter 2, The Authority of the Canon, focuses on the rise of interpretation in the Rabbinic tradition, in which the commentary on the canon was meant to translate the holy text into the life of the community. Reading the Torah opens up a space between the text and its exegesis, which makes the authority of the text oscillate between the canon and . . .

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