Cover image for Thinking biblically : exegetical and hermeneutical studies
Thinking biblically : exegetical and hermeneutical studies
Lacocque, André.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. ; London : University of Chicago Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xix, 441 pages ; 23 cm
General Note:
Originally published: 1998.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
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BS511.2 .L24 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Unparalled in its poetry, richness, and religious and historical significance, the Hebrew Bible has been the site and center of countless commentaries, perhaps none as unique as Thinking Biblically . This remarkable collaboration sets the words of a distinguished biblical scholar, Andr#65533; LaCocque, and those of a leading philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, in dialogue around six crucial passages from the Old Testament: the story of Adam and Eve; the commandment "thou shalt not kill"; the valley of dry bones passage from Ezekiel; Psalm 22; the Song of Songs; and the naming of God in Exodus 3:14. Commenting on these texts, LaCocque and Ricoeur provide a wealth of new insights into the meaning of the different genres of the Old Testament as these made their way into and were transformed by the New Testament.

LaCocque's commentaries employ a historical-critical method that takes into account archaeological, philological, and historical research. LaCocque includes in his essays historical information about the dynamic tradition of reading scripture, opening his exegesis to developments and enrichments subsequent to the production of the original literary text. Ricoeur also takes into account the relation between the texts and the historical communities that read and interpreted them, but he broadens his scope to include philosophical speculation. His commentaries highlight the metaphorical structure of the passages and how they have served as catalysts for philosophical thinking from the Greeks to the modern age.

This extraordinary literary and historical venture reads the Bible through two different but complementary lenses, revealing the familiar texts as vibrant, philosophically consequential, and unceasingly absorbing.

Author Notes

Professor of philosophy at the University of Paris and the University of Chicago, Paul Ricoeur has been described as "possibly the only younger philosopher in Europe whose reputation is of the magnitude of that of the old men of Existentialism---Marcel, Jaspers, Heidegger and Sartre . . . ." His work has been characterized as "the most massive accomplishment of any philosopher of Christian faith since the appearance of Gabriel Marcel." A practitioner of the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl mediated by a return to Immanuel Kant---in that things in themselves, though unknowable, are not excluded by bracketing existence but are acknowledged as the necessary conditions for the possibility of human experience---Ricoeur has examined those parts of experience---faulty, fallible, and susceptible to error and evil---that other phenomenologists, interested primarily in the cognitional, have neglected. In this respect he follows in the footsteps of Heidegger and Sartre, but he goes beyond them in his discovery of principles transcending human subjectivity that are amenable to spiritual interpretation. Here Ricoeur steps within the contemporary hermeneutic circle of Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer, on whom he has written. Ricoeur's hermeneutical method, however, has much in common with the methods of biblical exegesis, and in this respect his works should be especially appealing to seminarians and the clergy. (Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Genesis 2-3
Cracks in the Wallp. 3
Thinking Creationp. 31
Exodus 20:13
Thou Shalt Not Killp. 71
"Thou Shalt Not Kill": A Loving Obediencep. 111
Ezekiel 37:1-14
From Death to Lifep. 141
Sentinel of Imminencep. 165
Psalm 22
My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?p. 187
Lamentation as Prayerp. 211
The Song of Songs
The Shulamitep. 235
The Nuptial Metaphorp. 265
Exodus 3:14
The Revelation of Revelationsp. 307
From Interpretation to Translationp. 331
Genesis 44
An Ancestral Narrative: The Joseph Storyp. 365
Zechariah 12:10
"Et aspicient ad me quem confixerunt"p. 401
Index of Passagesp. 423
Indexp. 435