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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

News from Modern Languages & Cultures

Headlines

New Publication: Dr Yael Almog 'Secularism and Hermeneutics'

(4 December 2019)

Yael's book is available on the publishers website: https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15944.html

 

In the late Enlightenment, a new imperative began to inform theories of interpretation: all literary texts should be read in the same way that we read the Bible. However, this assumption concealed a problem—there was no coherent "we" who read the Bible in the same way. Secularism and Hermeneutics shows that several prominent thinkers of the era, including Johann Gottfried Herder, Moses Mendelssohn, Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher, constituted readers as an imaginary "we" around which they could form their theories and practices of interpretation. This conception of interpreters as a universal community established biblical readers as a coherent collective.