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Parables for Our TimeRereading New Testament Scholarship after the Holocaust$
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Tania Oldenhage

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195150520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019515052X.001.0001

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Paul Ricoeur's “Biblical Hermeneutics”

Paul Ricoeur's “Biblical Hermeneutics”

(p.115) 10 Paul Ricoeur's “Biblical Hermeneutics”
Parables for Our Time

Tania Oldenhage (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to Paul Ricoeur's contributions to American New Testament parable studies in the 1970s. In his essay “Biblical Hermeneutics,” Ricoeur argues that structuralism can offer new and helpful approaches to the parables but that it needs to be combined with an existential interpretation. He moves on to make metaphor theory fruitful for parable studies and thereby offers a new, interpretive vision of the parables of Jesus. Understood as metaphorical narratives, the parables are said to offer a new vision of reality. Ricoeur argues, moreover, that, as limit‐expressions, the parables refer to limit‐experiences of human life, including death, suffering, guilt, and hatred. Throughout the essay, Ricoeur emphasizes the limitations of historical criticism and calls for a more comprehensive interpretive theory.

Keywords:   biblical hermeneutics, existential, historical criticism, metaphor, parables of Jesus, Paul Ricoeur, structuralism

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