In The Promise of Hermeneutics, authors Roger Lundin, Clarence Walhout, and Anthony C. Thiselton seek to counter certain assumptions about interpretation both within the church and in the larger culture and academic community. The quest for validity and certainty can obscure the nuanced complexity of the interpretive act, and here the authors have sought to establish a balance between application of method and emphasis on indeterminacy. This work proposes that through this balanced approach the role of wisdom and a useful understanding of hermeneutics can lead to interpretations based on valid context and due constraint.
In specific theological terms, interpretation is argued to be an activity that humans engage in within the context of the promises of God, and this book offers sustained literary, philosophical, and theological analyses of contemporary interpretation theorem. In addition to critiquing a number of these theories, and the practices which issue from them, the authors propose models of human understanding that demonstrate the lasting promise of hermeneutics.
Among the plethora of books published every year on the subject of hermeneutics, this volume stands out. This book covers the subject comprehensively, in reasonable compass, and yet with penetration and up-to-date alertness. Even those who read widely on the subject will be informed; students who read this book carefully will receive an education not only in hermeneutics in some narrow sense but also in epistemology and the shape of postmodern thought.
—D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
A timely and engaged collection of studies in hermeneutical theory by leading theological and literary practitioners. Probing, critical, learned, and, above all, theologically alert, these essays exemplify Christian scholarship at its best. A first-rate volume, essential for anyone concerned with the art of interpretation.
—John Webster, Oxford University
The rise of postmodernism in literature, philosophy, and, more recently, biblical studies raises anew the ancient question of hermeneutics. By calling for a hermeneutic of promise with its inherent focus on the future, Lundin, Walhout, and Thiselton point us in the direction in which the discussion of hermeneutics in the contemporary context must move if Christian theorists are to carve out a hermeneutical stance that avoids both the ‘wooden replication’ of the Cartesian approach and the uncontrolled indeterminacy of many postmodern proposals.
—Stanley J. Grenz, Carey/Regent College and Northern Seminary
This book appropriates a wealth of current resources, particularly the speech-act theory of J. L. Austin, to make a significant move beyond textual relativism—a form of relativism that Roger Lundin deftly traces to its origins in the Cartesian rejection of tradition
—Nancey Murphy, Fuller Theological Seminary
Roger Lundin is the Blanchard Professor of English at Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. He is the author of The Culture of Interpretation: Christian Faith and the Postmodern World and co-author of The Responsibility of Hermeneutics.
Clarence Walhout is professor emeritus of English at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI. He co-edited Contemporary Literary Theory : A Christian Appraisal and also co-authored The Responsibility of Hermeneutics.
Anthony C. Thiselton is Professor of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham, England. His other works include The First Epistle to the Corinthians, one of the volumes included in the New International Greek Testament Commentary.