Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology

Article excerpt

Theology after Ricoeur: New Directions in Hermeneutical Theology. By Dan R. Stiver. Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.257pp. $39.95 (cloth).

For students of Paul Ricoeur's vast oeuvre, composed over nearly six decades, Dan R. Stiver's Theology after Ricoeur will serve as a welcome guide. Stiver has provided a thematic approach to Ricoeur, whose works have heen created somewhat as the Spirit and the signs of the times led him. Since this has resulted in many, sometimes seemingly disparate works, Ricoeur can he hard to address: Where does one begin? Stiver cuts a cross-section through a half century of Ricoeur s writings and creates a systematic prolegomenon. As he points out, it is only with Ricoeur's Oneself as Another (1990 in the original, 1992 in English translation) and later works that a comprehensive view begins to appear.

Because Stiver's hook is primarily a presentation of Ricoeur's philosophy, it is only in the final chapter that his goals become clear. His purpose is "to propose Ricoeur's hermeneutical philosophy as ... a timely aid" to theology in a time of major transition (p. 247). "One of the strengths of Ricoeur's philosophy ... is that it is as comprehensive a philosophy as any in the twentieth century" (p. 248). In fact, "hermeneutical philosophy and theology share a similar paradigmatic model, namely, that of interpreting a significant text" (p. 248).

The book begins with an introduction to Ricoeur, his times, and the philosophical and theological movements which have formed the context of his work. Stiver makes plain that he is "not so interested in Ricoeur's particular theological views as . . . in the value ofhis philosophical framework as a resource for Christian theologians across the theological spectrum" (p. …

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