By Professor Kevin J. Vanhoozer
Even though Paul Ricoeur's writings are commonly and appreciatively learn by way of theologians, this booklet bargains an entire, sympathetic but severe account of Ricoeur's thought of narrative interpretation and its contribution to theology. not like many earlier reports of Ricoeur, half I argues that Ricoeur's hermeneutics has to be seen within the mild of his total philosophical time table, as a fusion and continuation of the incomplete initiatives of Kant and Heidegger. really necessary is the focal point on Ricoeur's fresh narrative conception because the context within which Ricoeur offers with difficulties of time and the inventive mind's eye; and it turns into transparent that narrative stands on the crossroads of Ricoeur's look for the which means of individual in addition to his look for the that means of texts. half II examines the possibility of Ricoeur's narrative idea for resolving sure theological difficulties, resembling the dichotomy betweens the Jesus of heritage and the Christ of religion.
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Extra info for Biblical Narrative in the Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur: A Study in Hermeneutics and Theology
In short, the limit does not close the philosophical discourse, but breaks it open by denying the claim of objective knowledge to close it off at the level of spatio-temporal objects. It is in this sense that we should take Kant's celebrated comment: "I have therefore found it necessary to deny knowledge, in order to make room for faith. " n In similar fashion, we may say that Ricoeur denies "knowledge" of the unconditioned in order to make room for imagination. The Kantian limits are not merely theoretical, but practical.
Objects are conditioned by space and time, and hence they are within the limits of empirical knowledge. Hegel's cardinal error, his "transcendental illusion," was to try and think the unconditioned (namely, God, self, freedom) in an objectifying manner, thus making the unconditioned subject to the conditions of space and time. According to Ricoeur, such an error is possible only because there is a legitimate thought of the unconditioned. We shall see below that this legitimate thinking is a thinking "according to the symbol" which does not come to rest in a finished concept.
44 Moreover, Ricoeur's work on Freud and psychoanalysis convinced him that consciousness is first of all false consciousness. The subject of reflection must lose itself in order to find itself: "All of psychoanalysis speaks to me of lost objects to be found again symbolically. " 4 j This then is Ricoeur's "'long route" to human being: no analysis of human being without the work of interpretation. One can chart Ricoeur's increasing interest in language and interpretation simply by reviewing his bibliography.