Paul Ricoeur's “Biblical Hermeneutics”

Tania Oldenhage

in Parables for Our Time

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780195150520
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834549 | DOI:

Series: AAR Cultural Criticism Series

 Paul Ricoeur's “Biblical Hermeneutics”

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This chapter turns to Paul Ricoeur's contributions to American New Testament parable studies in the 1970s. In his essay “Biblical Hermeneutics,” Ricoeur argues that structuralism can offer new and helpful approaches to the parables but that it needs to be combined with an existential interpretation. He moves on to make metaphor theory fruitful for parable studies and thereby offers a new, interpretive vision of the parables of Jesus. Understood as metaphorical narratives, the parables are said to offer a new vision of reality. Ricoeur argues, moreover, that, as limit‐expressions, the parables refer to limit‐experiences of human life, including death, suffering, guilt, and hatred. Throughout the essay, Ricoeur emphasizes the limitations of historical criticism and calls for a more comprehensive interpretive theory.

Keywords: biblical hermeneutics; existential; historical criticism; metaphor; parables of Jesus; Paul Ricoeur; structuralism

Chapter.  4701 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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