Faith, Hermeneutics, and the Literal Sense of Scripture

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Sage Publishing


This article investigates the interrelationship between faith and contemporary hermeneutics. It traces the use of the 'literal sense' in the postwar period, indicates some fruitful efforts of biblical scholarship to widen the concept, and suggests the contributions which Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics could make toward giving the nonexegete Christian access to the religious meaning of the biblical text. Faith and life-experience function as the effective historical structuring of consciousness which makes possible the conversation which the word of God evokes and which allows its religious meaning to be actualized in innumerable ways.