Hermeneutics at the Crossroads
In the summer of 2002 fourteen pilgrims from across North America met at Calvin
College for an unusual five-week academic retreat. The occasion: a seminar on
the topic “Hermeneutics at the Crossroads: The Disciplines of Text Interpretation.”
The following collection of essays had its genesis in that seminar, which I
directed under the auspices of the Calvin College Seminars in Christian Scholarship
program. My primary task was to select the participants and the readings,
and to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation. I selected the fourteen from a
pool of some forty-five applicants representing a number of academic disciplines,
including the natural sciences. The academic departments eventually represented
in the seminar included philosophy, English, French, and biblical studies.
Each person had a tale to tell about why hermeneutics mattered to him or to her
and what problems came to the fore in one’s respective discipline.