Bookshelf Updates

Subheadings have now come to the bookshelf. Some of the lists of works under main headings had become quite long and unwieldy, but the subheadings should help minimize the length of the individual lists.

While additional subsections will certainly be required as the bookshelf grows, the sections presently large enough to demand subheadings include Gospels (Jesus, parables) and hermeneutics (biblical interpretation, general hermeneutics, methodology).

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2 responses to “Bookshelf Updates”

  1. A Free Spirit Avatar

    I have an idea for a new sort of biblical (and other religious text) hermeneutic: namely, identifying and extracting all of the passages that could involve the tinge of the writer’s or the religion’s self-interest. What sort of text would emerge? If you are interested, pls see my post at

    1. David Stark Avatar

      Thanks for the comment. After reading the post you mentioned and the subsequent comments, I’m afraid I substantially agree with Marvin Wiser’s comment. In your reply to that comment, you do further define “a person’s self-interest” as “a person’s religious statements that are in line with the person’s vested interests.” Similar to Marvin’s opinion in his comment, however, I wonder whether any religious statements could possibly not be “in line with a person’s vested interests.” Here, I have particularly in mind Blaise Pascal’s poignant observation that “Happiness is the object of all the actions of all men—even of those who kill themselves.” Whatever statements we make in religious discourse (as, indeed, in all other discourse also), we make because, in the final analysis, it seems more preferable to us to make these statements rather than not making them or rather than making different statements.

      So, explicitly noting all instances where self-interest influences a statement would seem to produce a text or discourse where caveats (quite literally) would pervade the whole and where none of these caveats could be made without again, in some sense, invoking the caveat-maker’s self-interest. As a more practical procedure, we (= all people engaged in communication, whether about religion or not) might do better—if I understand Gadamer correctly here—to gain a horizon (i.e., to understand the shape that history has given to our own self-interest as best we can) and then to seek to transpose ourselves into the complex of interests that work in the horizons of others.

      Is that assessment fair, or have I still incompletely transposed myself into the horizon from which you are speaking ;-)?

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