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 (hûr′mə-no͞o′tĭks, -nyo͞o′-)
n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially of scriptural text.

her′me·neu′tist n.


n (functioning as singular)
1. (Bible) the science of interpretation, esp of Scripture
2. (Theology) the branch of theology that deals with the principles and methodology of exegesis
3. (Philosophy) philosophy
a. the study and interpretation of human behaviour and social institutions
b. (in existentialist thought) discussion of the purpose of life
[C18: from Greek hermēneutikos expert in interpretation, from hermēneuein to interpret, from hermēneus interpreter, of uncertain origin]


(ˌhɜr məˈnu tɪks, -ˈnyu-)

n. (used with a sing. v.)
1. the art or science of interpretation, esp. of the Scriptures.
2. the branch of theology that deals with the principles of Biblical exegesis.


the science of interpretation and explanation, especially the branch of theology that deals with the general principles of Biblical interpretation. — hermeneut, hermeneutist, n.
See also: Bible


The study of the way in which we interpret and attempt to understand phenomena such as texts, works of art, actions, and gestures. Although originally part of philosophy, hermeneutics has had an important influence on sociology.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hermeneutics - the branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis
theology, divinity - the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth
References in periodicals archive ?
More importantly, he does convincingly argue that hermeneutics and deconstruction, though obviously different, have certain characteristics that inform one another, and his examples from Yeats, Eliot, Pound, and Joyce do indeed support his connections between hermeneutics and deconstruction and Modernism as a movement.
Dilthey's hermeneutics provides art with a new beginning, by examining meaningful expression in art and the psychology of the experience of the beautiful and the sublime.
Where instrumental music's emancipation from language supposedly alienated it from meaning, his hermeneutics contextualizes music in order to propose potential or virtual meanings through ascriptive interpretations of musical processes and devices.
These chapters are separated by interludes in which Jacobs discusses novels and other books that raise the question of interpretation; he uses these as examples, positive and negative, of the hermeneutics of love.
Originating in German biblical exegesis in the 19th century, and shaping up most extensively as a philosophy of interpretation in the works of Hans Georg Gadamar in the 20th century, hermeneutics has consistently privileged the interpretive enterprise over other textual approaches.
15] Giving "primary orientation to human existence," [16] nitty-gritty hermeneutics encourages "a fuller spectrum of black responses to the problem of evil.
It was not just that the print size diminished by several points but also there were sentences such as 'structural linguistics, structural anthropology, hermeneutics, and phenomenology mapped the topological nature of cultural systems but - tautologically - remained a closed system or a synthetic, often capricious analytical system consistent with subjectivity'.
Originally proposed as 'an anti-Theory theory', rhetorical hermeneutics was intended to open up a third way, an escape from the theoretical/ critical/political stalemate that had locked the debate in US English departments in the 1980s between hermeneutic realism (meaningful texts exist independently from interpretation; meaning is discovered) and hermeneutic idealism (interpretation creates meaning in texts; meaning is made).
In fact, this exercise in the exhaustion of hermeneutics seems ultimately to be more about the hermeneutics of exhaustion.
Hermeneutics began as the interpretation of the Bible, especially in support of Luther's famous dictum of scriptura sola, the Reform Bible explaining itself.
The research methodology designed for the project was grounded in the critical theory tradition and in the following premises: (1) the need to adopt a "holistic" approach that takes the learner's perspective; (2) the notion of experience and the specificity of the learning subject; (3) the need to move beyond conventional hermeneutics to "in-depth hermeneutics," which involves looking for meanings and implications going beyond the knowledge or intent of the acting, knowing, or speaking subject; and (4) the notion that a learning subject is a historical product of modernity and the need to relate it to a dynamic-utopian concept of a learning individual.
His elucidation of "words" and "things" is helpful in analyzing the relationship between biblical hermeneutics and investigations of nature.