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Theology, Hermeneutics, and Imagination
The Crisis of Interpretation at the End of Modernity


  • Date Published: December 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521045315

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About the Authors
  • This book explores the contemporary crisis of biblical interpretation by examining modern and postmodern forms of the 'hermeneutics of suspicion'. Garrett Green looks at several thinkers who played key roles in creating a radically suspicious reading of the Bible. After Kant, Hamann and Feuerbach comes Nietzsche, who marked the turn from modern to postmodern suspicion. Green argues that similarities between Derrida's deconstruction and Barth's theology of signs show that postmodern suspicion ought not to be viewed simply as a threat to theology but as a secular counterpart to its own hermeneutical insights. When theology attends to its proper task of describing the grammar of scriptural imagination, it discovers a source of suspicion more radical than the secular, the hermeneutical expression of God's gracious judgement. Green concludes that Christians are committed to the hermeneutical imperative, the never-ending struggle for the meaning of scripture in the hopeful insecurity of the faithful imagination.

    • Affirms Christian orthodoxy while at the same time engaging in serious conversation with secular thinkers hostile or indifferent to the gospel
    • Deals lucidly with important but difficult philosophers and theologians
    • Offers a theological response to the 'hermeneutics of suspicion'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A useful advance along the path of hermeneutical exploration.' Expository Times

    'At the heart of Garrett Green's study, Theology, Hermeneutics, and Imagination: The Crisis of Interpretation at the End of Modernity, is a discussion of some intriguing possibilities contained within what he calls 'significant and positive parallels between Christian theology and postmodern philosophy' … Two things in particular distinguish Green's book: first, its fresh account of Ludwig Feuerbach as the 'forgotten father of the hermeneutics of suspicion,' that is, as the mediator between Kant and the great masters of doubt who follow him, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud; … second, its unusual restraint in dealing with 'suspicion' that allows for a more appreciative account than usual of the theological possibilities contained within it. In fact, these two issues are linked.' Perspectives in Religious Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521045315
    • length: 244 pages
    • dimensions: 215 x 138 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.326kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Theological hermeneutics in the twilight of modernity
    Part I. The Modern Roots of Suspicion
    2. The scandal of positivity: the Kantian paradigm in modern theology
    3. Against purism: Hamann's metacritique of Kant
    4. Feuerbach: forgotten father of the hermeneutics of suspicion
    5. Nietzschean suspicion and the Christian imagination
    Part II. Christian Imagination in a Postmodern World:
    6. The hermeneutics of difference: suspicion in postmodern guise
    7. The hermeneutic imperative: interpretation and the theological task
    8. The faithful imagination: suspicion and trust in a postmodern world
    Appendix: Hamann's letter to Kraus

  • Author

    Garrett Green, Connecticut College

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