Drawing on the resources of contemporary hermeneutical theory, Anthony Thiselton in this volume masterfully recovers the formative and transformative power of Christian doctrine.
The past 35 years have witnessed major steps forward in the use of hermeneutics in biblical studies, but never before has hermeneutics made a comparable impact on the formulation of doctrine and our engagement with it. Indeed, no other book explores the interface between hermeneutics and Christian doctrine in the same in-depth way that this one does. Throughout the book Thiselton shows how perspectives that arise from hermeneutics shed fresh light on theological method, reshape horizons of understanding, and reveal the relevance of doctrine for formation and for life.
Arguably the leading authority worldwide on biblical and philosophical hermeneutics, Thiselton has written widely acclaimed works in the areas of biblical studies and philosophical theology. His probing interaction in The Hermeneutics of Doctrine with numerous other great thinkers—Gadamer, Ricoeur, Lindbeck, Balthasar,Vanhoozer, Pannenberg—and his original perspectives will make this volume a valuable resource for scholars and advanced students.
Anthony Thiselton is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated and creative minds in the whole of the Anglican Communion today, equally respected as a biblical scholar and as an expert guide to theories of interpretation. In this magisterial work he brings his two areas of expertise together more extensively than ever before in a great systematic essay on the central importance of doctrine and its roots in the practice of intelligent reading of Scripture. The Hermeneutics of Doctrine is by any standard a major work, deeply necessary in a climate where confusion and indifference about doctrine too often prevail.
—Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury
This is a patient, profound, searching, and intellectually honest book, much like its author. As a scholar steeped in hermeneutical theory, Thiselton here turns his attention to Christian doctrine, which so often is marginalized as mere theory. He draws compellingly on Gadamer: ‘Hermeneutics is above all a practice . . . In it what one has to exercise above all is the ear . . .’ Hermeneutical reflection, Thiselton reminds us, is formative. This in turn involves transformation because it involves keeping oneself open to what is the other. In a sustained argument, Thiselton here explores ‘what the ‘otherness’ of the doctrinal subject matter demands as a horizon within which its claims will be heard without distortion.’
—Iain Torrance, president, Princeton Theological Seminary
All the adjectives have already been used up in praise of Tony Thiselton’s previous volumes: magisterial, comprehensive, mind-blowing, worldview-changing, challenging yet comprehensible, massively learned and massively relevant, deeply faithful to the Christian tradition yet deeply refreshing in seeing everything from new angles. This new book is vintage Thiselton.
—N.T. Wright, professor of New Testament and early Christianity, St. Andrews University