Monday, April 9, 2012

We Always Take Ourselves Along

Remember the trio from How-to-Study-the-Bible class: observation, interpretation, and application. They were the holy trinity of Bible study. The thought was (at least in my head) that these were three distinct operations. They followed in logical order. When one was done, you moved on to the next. "Wrong!!" says Gadamer. "It is not the case that there is first a pure, objective understanding of meaning, to which special significance accrues when it is subsequently applied to our questions. We always take ourselves along whenever we understand, so much so that for Gadamer understanding and application are indivisibly fused."Never thought of it that way before: "We always take ourselves along whenever we understand." I believe that is true. At least, I don't recall every leaving myself locked up at home (shutters pulled) when out understanding the world - or the Bible.

Quote from Jean Grodin, Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) 115.

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