Limit‐Experiences of Human Life

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

 Limit‐Experiences of Human Life

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This chapter develops a critical reading of what Oldenhage calls the “limit‐rhetoric” in Ricoeur's 1975 essay “Biblical Hermeneutics.” Oldenhage points out that during the 1970s the notion of limit was already becoming a crucial trope within Holocaust literary studies. Focusing on Terrence Des Pres's study of Holocaust testimonies, Oldenhage explores how notions such as “limit‐situation” or “extremity” helped Des Pres to draw attention to the experiences of Holocaust survivors that so far had been ignored or misinterpreted. By cross‐reading the fields of Holocaust studies and New Testament parable studies, Oldenhage raises questions about Ricoeur's deployment of the charged trope of “limit‐experiences” in relation to the parables of Jesus.

Keywords: rhetoric; Holocaust testimonies; Holocaust survivors; parables of Jesus; biblical hermeneutics; Paul Ricoeur

Chapter.  8040 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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