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On Frei’s Eclipse of Biblical Narrative

West, Cornel

Hans Frei's fresh interpretation in Eclipse of Biblical Narrative demonstrates the specific ways in which forms of supernaturalism, historicism, classicism, moralism and positivism have imposed debilitating constraints on the emergence of modern hermeneutics. These constraints resulted in a discursive closure which prohibited the development of a perspective which viewed Biblical texts as literary texts depicting unique characters and personages. Instead, early modern hermeneutical discourse conceived such texts as manifestations of divine presence, sources for historical reconstruction, articulations of the inner existential anxieties of their authors, bases for moral imperatives or candidates for verifiable claims. In a painstaking and often persuasive manner, Frei examines the "precritical" (a self-serving adjective coined by modern hermeneutical thinkers) interpretive procedures of Luther and Calvin, the pietistic viewpoint represented by Johann Jacob Rambach, the rationalistic approach of Spinoza and the proto-heilsgeschichtliche outlook of Johannes Cocceius.



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Union Seminary Quarterly Review

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Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
January 9, 2013