Hermeneutics: An Introduction

Hermeneutics: An Introduction

Hermeneutics: An Introduction

Hermeneutics: An Introduction


Anthony Thiselton here brings together his encyclopedic knowledge of hermeneutics and his nearly four decades of teaching on the subject to provide a splendid interdisciplinary textbook. After a thorough historical overview of hermeneutics, Thiselton moves into modern times with extensive analysis of scholarship from the mid-twentieth century, including liberation and feminist theologies, reader-response and reception theory, and postmodernism. No other text on hermeneutics covers the range of writers and subjects discussed in Thiselton's Hermeneutics.


This book was commissioned as a textbook on hermeneutics for the student and general reader. I have based it on nearly forty years of teaching the subject. I have regularly defined technical terms as they are introduced. My students over this time have helped me to decide what questions, writers, and subjects need coverage.

I have avoided repeating what I have said in other books, especially in New Horizons in Hermeneutics and Thiselton on Hermeneutics. There may be, however, a small overlap with the chapters on Bultmann in The Two Horizons, but that was written as a research book nearly thirty years ago. the chapter here is very much shorter. Neither can one write infinitely fresh things about Schleiermacher, because the scope of his writing on hermeneutics is small. But I have tried to present this subject differently and more simply than previously. For the remaining fourteen chapters, overlap scarcely occurs. No previous book of mine has been open while writing this.

Two years ago hardly any textbooks on hermeneutics existed, except that of David Jasper, which was very basic and short. It still offers a “taster” of the subject. Three others have appeared, but none is entirely adequate. in spite of their merits, they all remain too general and far too short, and a writer cannot cut corners in this subject without risking misunderstanding. None covers Gadamer and Ricoeur adequately, and none offers the range of writers and subjects offered here.

I am most grateful to my secretary, Mrs. Karen Woodward, for meticulously typing the whole manuscript, especially when my writing has been even worse than usual after a severe stroke last summer. I am grateful also to my wife Rosemary for proofreading and much of the indexing, and to Mrs.

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