Affordable Access

Ricoeurova »podučena egzegeza«

Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb; [email protected]
Publication Date
  • Biblijska Egzegeza
  • Interpretativne Metode
  • Hermeneutika
  • Konvergencija
  • Interpretacija
  • Biblical Exegesis
  • Interpretative Method
  • Hermeneutic
  • Convergent Interpretation
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Religious Science


This article attempts to present the principles of Ricoeur's »Learned Exegesis« in a two-fold horizon: the horizon of hermeneutic reflection that does not deal with ready dogmatic expression and the horizon of faith that is tasted through texts while at the same time observing the texts from a distance and taking account of their interior polyphone. That approach warns of the limits of various interpretative methods and of the possibility of their convergence. Three figures of »learned exegesis« that Ricoeur writes about - historical-critical, the semiotic method and the method of historical research in the literary forms - that are already present in Biblical exegesis. Each of these has a different assumption and different purpose: scientific exegesis is different to ecclesial, confessional and partially kerygmatic readings. Ricoeur takes consideration of each of these aspects but is interested primarily the work of the text itself, i.e. its internal dynamics. Ricoeur speaks about three phases of reading: reading the pericope, inter-textual reading and global reading. Reading the pericope, i.e. selected parts gives and insight into the kerygmatic, proclamatory dimension of the text. In the second phase, inter-textual reading, the pericope explains each other and not only by supplementing each other contextually and interpretatively but expressing the same message from various aspects and in various literary types which only together create and express the sense of the message. Global reading (globalisante) of the Bible presumes the unity of its meaning. The polyphone that results from inter-textuality compels us to search for some form of dominant topic on the whole. Ricoeur suggests leaving the door open for several models of accepted unity so as not to fall into the danger of ideologising and so not allow the canonisation of individual theological concepts that are being imposed such as was the case when Barth's theological concept of historical salvation was imposed (Heilsgeschichte). When researching the polyphone discursive models of the Bible, its polycentrism and variety in the way it names God; when taking an attitude against the end scope of theology of the history of salvation against other constructive Biblical theology - in all this Ricoeur reaches exegesis that consider one's own limits. The Biblical message reaches us through a series of layers of interpretation: the relation between speech - letter, self interpretation of the Scripture intertwining of narration and kerygma, theological and other interpretations. Ricoeur's hermeneutic attempts uncover the meaning of the text as it would have been before the text and analysis became divided, i.e. at the level of immanent and not explicit symbolism. According to Ricoeur, it is possible that the theological concept can be divided to the point of its kerygma and a raw paradigmatic reading can liberate its dynamics.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.