‘Hermeneutics’ is not a word we use in everyday English, but it is a useful technical term to describe our understanding of the nature of texts and how we interpret and use them, especially with respect to the Bible, a collection of ancient texts with distinctive and abiding authority. How we read and understand the Bible has constantly changed across the millennia of its history in both the Christian and Jewish traditions. Indeed, the problem of hermeneutics begins in the Bible itself, as we shall see, and part of this series of lectures will be a sort of Bible Study. Contemporary political crises, such as that between Israel and Palestine, or the motivations behind ISIS, are partly rooted in hermeneutical misunderstandings of sacred texts. The search for a more relevant spirituality also requires a renewed hermeneutical appreciation.
(NB This course will only be offered if a minimum of five persons register.)