Interdisciplinary Interpretation: Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Theology and Science available in Hardcover
The past fifty years has seen the emergence of an energetic dialogue between religion and the natural sciences that has contributed to a growing desire for interdisciplinarity among many constructive theologians. However, some have also resisted this trend, in part because it seems that the price one must pay for such engagement is much too high. Interdisciplinary work appears overly abstract and methodologically restrictive, with little room for systematic theologians self-consciously operating within a particular historical tradition. In Interdisciplinary Interpretation: Paul Ricoeur and the Hermeneutics of Theology and Science, Kenneth A. Reynhout seeks to address this concern by constructing an alternative understanding of interdisciplinary theology based on the hermeneutical thought of Paul Ricoeur, generally recognized as one of the most interdisciplinary philosophers of the twentieth century. Appealing to Ricoeur’s view of interpretation as the dialectical process of understanding through explanation, Reynhout argues that theology’s engagement with the natural sciences is fundamentally hermeneutical in character. As such, interdisciplinary theologians can faithfully borrow meaning from the sciences through a process of “interdisciplinary interpretation,” a process that can honestly attend to the legitimate challenges posed by the natural sciences without automatically requiring the evacuation of theological norms and convictions. Reynhout’s creative appropriation of Ricoeur’s hermeneutics succeeds in providing a novel interdisciplinary vision, not only for theology but also for interdisciplinary work in general.
About the Author
Kenneth A. Reynhout is an adjunct instructor of philosophy and religion at The College of New Jersey. He is broadly trained in theology, philosophy, and ethics as both contemporary and historical disciplines, and also holds advanced degrees in mathematics. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary intersection of philosophy, science, and religious and moral reflection, with a particular interest in applying underutilized resources from continental philosophy to problems generated by the contemporary dialogue between religion and science. He was formerly the Co-Director of the Science for Ministry Institute, a comprehensive continuing education program in theology and science for clergy and scientists at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Hermeneutics and the Interdisciplinary Question
Chapter 2: Ricoeur and the Expansion of Hermeneutics
Chapter 3: Interpretation as Understanding Through Explanation
Chapter 4: Interpretation and the Natural Sciences
Chapter 5: Interdisciplinary Interpretation