Aim of interpretation

Geertz ( The Interpretation Of Cultures (Basic Books Classics) ) has some insightful things to say about interpretation. “A good interpretation of anything,” he says, “takes us to the heart of that of which it is the interpretation. When it does not do that, but leads us instead somewhere else – into an admiration of its own elegance, of its author’s cleverness, or of the beauties of Euclidean order – it may have its intrinsic charms; but it is something else than what the task at hand – figuring out what all that rigamarole is about – calls for” (18).

And this: “Cultural analysis is (or should be) guessing at meanings, assessing the guesses, and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better guesses, not discovering the Continent of Meaning and mapping out its bodiless landscape” (20).

Biblical interpreters have a good deal to learn from those two statements.

"FYI our Uniting Church of Australia has its Pitt Street Uniting Church led by a ..."

Canon and Church
"I quite agree. But our knowledge of Jesus comes from the narrative traditions which were ..."

Canon and Church
"If God is indeed real and good then anyone whom does not teach good is ..."

Canon and Church
"Why use Paul (just some guy) as your measuring stick. His philosophy was entirely different ..."

Canon and Church

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!