You have developed knowledge, understanding and competences in the field
of hermeneutics, with special reference to the interpretation and use of
(1) You can demonstrate (in writing and/or in oral communication) your
knowledge and understanding of the various definitions of hermeneutics
in current scholarship as a basis for developing an adequate hermeneutic
theory and praxis (= Dublin descriptor 1: knowledge and understanding).
(2) You are competent to apply various hermeneutic theories to a case
study pertinent to your master specialization (= Dublin descriptor 2:
applying knowledge and understanding).
(3) You can integrate hermeneutic theory, where possible and relevant,
into a larger (multi-disciplinary) frame of reference, especially with a
view to the professional community and praxis (i.e. society, academy and
church) and report about this (= Dublin descriptor 3: making
(4) You can communicate the conclusions of your research in a position
paper written for a specialist (peer) audience (= Dublin descriptor 4:
(5) You can show that you are aware of the complexities of
"understanding" (or not-understanding) [hermeneutic gap, text, author,
reader, interpretive community, context, effective history
(Wirkungsgeschichte), your own readerly perspective or stance etc.] and
can deal with them professionally in a largely self-directed
(autonomous) learning process (hermeneutical habitus) (= Dublin
descriptor 5: learning skills).
Part I: THE DISCOVERY OF ME AS A READER (Zwiep)
Defining the Issues and Exploring the Field || The Discovery of
Historical Consciousness: Dilthey and Gadamer || The Discovery of the
Reader: Reception Aesthetics and Reader-Response Criticism: Iser, Jauss,
Fish, Eco || The Discovery of the Text as World: Structuralism (Rise and
Fall) and Narrative Hermeneutics: Ricoeur || The Discovery of the World
as Text: Post-structuralism and Deconstruction: Barthes, Foucault,
Derrida || Deconstruction and Holy Writ: Caputo. Working Session / Case
Study on Wirkungsgeschichte: "Why Textual Interpretation is NOT
Part II: THE DISCOVERY OF THE OTHER AS A READER (Moyaert)
The Discovery of Gender: Feminist Hermeneutics || The Discovery of
Culture: Intercultural hermeneutics || The Discover of Power:
Form of tuition
Lectures, working groups, reading assignments, peer review, research
Type of assessment
Three reflection papers (3 x 10%)
Research paper, depending on specialization (70%, including research
Arie W. Zwiep, Tussen tekst en lezer 2: Van moderniteit naar
postmoderniteit (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2013, 2e druk 2014)
(for Dutch students, if not studied before), or Anthony C. Thiselton,
Hermeneutics: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009), or Stanley
E. Porter and Jason C. Robinson, Hermeneutics: An Introduction to
Interpretive Theory (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).
Various scholarly articles (accessible via ATLA Religion Database and/or
Highly recommended for reference purposes: Lexikon der Bibelhermeneutik:
Begriffe-Methoden-Theorien-Konzepte. Edited by Oda Wischmeyer. De
Gruyter Texte. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2009 (Hardcover), 2013 (Paperback).
Also helpful: B.H. McLean, Biblical Interpretation and Philosophical
Hermeneutics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Recommended background knowledge
A basic training in biblical and philosophical hermeneutics at a
BA-level (G_BAHERM or an equivalent course approved by the exam
committee). If this is your very first acquaintance with (general)
hermeneutics, you will much profit from Jens Zimmermann, Hermeneutics: A
Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), and/or
(esp. for biblical hermeneutics) from Bernard C. Lategan,
“Hermeneutics,” in vol. 3 of The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel
Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 149-154. Further recommended
literature in case of deficiency, Arie W. Zwiep, Tussen tekst en lezer,
vol. 1: Vroege kerk-Schleiermacher (Amsterdam: VU University Press,
2009, 4e druk 2017), Alexander S. Jensen, Theological Hermeneutics, SCM
Core Texts (London: SCM, 2007), Werner G. Jeanrond, Theological
Hermeneutics (London: SCM, 1994), or equivalent literature in
consultation with the teaching staff.
Training in the ancient languages (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic etc.) is
not required; a good command of English is.
This is a mandatory course for all MA students: MA Theology (1 year),
Divinity (3 year) and Research Master (2 year). It is also open to
students of EM (= Educatieve Master).
As of 2017-2018, "Scriptural Reasoning" is no longer part of this course
but a mandatory part of the course work in period 3.