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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 ?
But you are doing more than that too, you are also the healer, the hermeneut par excellence (Hermes, patron of hermeneutics and communication), linking all these domains, gods and humans, on the model of the healer-soter, alchemist, who changes mud into gold.
The hermeneut is supposed to help readers into the artist's vision on reality in her new contingencies, so her task both as a writer and as a critic is to finally attract the readers into the terrifying drama of reality by filling the literary text with confusion, passion, incompleteness.
New chemical technologies, De Quincey explains, can reconstruct the effaced layers, making the modern reader a hermeneut, historian, and human par excellence: while past societies' interests changed, replacing pagan tragedy with hagiography, hagiography with chivalric romance, the nineteenth-century reader possesses "reversionary interests" in reviving all discarded layers, and the analogous interpretive power to reawaken "disfigured" truths within each layer (15:173).
He covers a hermeneutic reading of Daniel, narration, Danielic hermeneutics in theory and in praxis, and the reader as hermeneut.
The hermeneut is initiated in the hermeneutic circle by a poetic act of laughter, called [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by the Greeks, so I playfully name the poetic echo of Hermes' laughter as 'Gelotopoesis.
Kachur, "Repositioning the Female Christian Reader: Christina Rossetti as Tractarian Hermeneut in The Face of the Deep," VP 35, no.
He was, and remains thus, a prolific, serious, and deep hermeneut of Christian thinking.
Treated by some like a God, this reverence for the author-figure could likewise remind us of the figure of the hermeneut who, in ancient times, served as the transmitter of sacred doctrine.
Keith Leslie Johnson, in his contribution to this issue, goes so far as to call Darwin the "fourth hermeneut of suspicion" (575), placing him alongside Paul Ricoeur's famous triumvirate of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud as a founder of modern interpretive practices.
If Strauss shows us difficulties arising when Kant's 'Schriftgelehrter' tries to move beyond the community of readers which Kant and Hegel identified, then Nietzsche provides us with the most imaginative attempt to convert post-communal reading and writing into a new way of life: Zarathustra is a hypertrophied version of the Kantian and post-Kantian scriptural hermeneut.
5) In fact it seemed that the hermeneut who could not trust the history constructed with words could trust the history in words, for although it is possible to create false historical narratives, language itself could not lie about history since its very being is historical.
Laypeople played a major role in these developments, gathering churches, challenging ministerial prerogatives, and asserting their own exegeses--a hermeneut in every hut.