Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) was one of the most important philosophers to come out of Germany in the twentieth century. A student of the famed Martin Heidegger, Gadamer essentially put on the map a new field of enquiry, namely, philosophical hermeneutics. I first discovered Gadamer’s work when I was working toward an M.Th. under the supervision of Dr. Thorsten Moritz at London School of Theology.
During that time, my research focused on New Testament theology, specifically on justification language as it related to the “glory” motif in Romans. As I began working through aspects of that subject, I began to notice what can only be called the “enigma” of Paul’s reading of the Old Testament. Paul, as any New Testament scholar will admit, exhibited at times a rather mysterious way of reading the Old Testament. To be sure, some of his interpretive activity is straightforward and predictable; at other times, however, this is far from the case. Long story short, my intrigue heightened, and I knew that I wanted to pursue Ph.D. research that would allow me to address that question. And that’s what I did.
My Doktorvater, Thorsten Moritz, himself a German scholar, pointed me in the direction of the great continental thinkers, a list of philosophers that included, of course, Hans-Georg Gadamer. As I read through Gadamer’s ground-breaking book, Wahrheit und Methode, I began to see how his hermeneutic insights could come to bear upon the question of Pauline interpretation. I eventually completed my Ph.D., successfully defending my thesis.
Biblical Studies and Philosophy
One of my passions is to help those working in biblical studies to see the value of philosophy for their work. In other words, my aim is to help biblical scholars gain more philosophical awareness. This would, I think, help to advance their own endeavors, as philosophy does provide conceptual categories and language conducive for biblical studies. (Of course, it should be noted that I also think the reverse is the case. To be sure, theology itself has something to offer philosophy–a topic, too, that I am passionate about.)
Indeed, I remain optimistic about the value of Gadamer’s hermeneutic insights for biblical studies. And as a biblical theologian, I plan to use this website to help bring awareness of Gadamer to my colleagues. As a pastor, too, I think I can make an invaluable contribution to this topic.
What you will find below is a bibliography of Gadamer’s works, in addition to other relevant titles that either (a) interact with his hermeneutic or (b) provide a scholarly context for his hermeneutic. The list below is a growing one, so please continue to check back from time to time.