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Hermeneutics, Community Formation, and the Ethics of Interpretation




Course load


English, literature available in Dutch (optional)

Prof. Dr M. Moyaert; Prof. Dr A. Zwiep

6 ECs

The final paper may be submitted in Dutch or English


Hermeneutics has a five-fold learning objective:

  1. The student is able to demonstrate, both in writing and oral communication, his or her knowledge and understanding of the various definitions of hermeneutics in current scholarship as a basis for developing an adequate hermeneutic theory and praxis.

  2. The student is competent to apply various hermeneutical theories to a case study pertinent to his or her master specialisation;

  3. The student is able to integrate hermeneutical theory, where possible and relevant, into a larger, multi-disciplinary frame of reference, especially with a view to the professional community and praxis (i.e. society, academy, and church) and report about this;

  4. The student is able to communicate the conclusions of his research in a position paper wirtten for a specialist, peer audience.

  5. The student is able to show his awareness of the complexities of understanding, or lack thereof (hermeneutical gap, text, author, reader, interpretive community, etc.) and can deal with them professionally in a largely self-directed, autonomous learning process

The course is divided into two parts: theoretical reflections, and practical applications. Practical applications revolve around the concept of scriptural reasoning.


The course is finalised successfully by the demonstration of the above mentioned learning objectives, demonstrated in a research paper and a reflection report about the scriptural reasoning sessions.


Literature (non-exhaustive)
  • Zwiep, A., Tussen Tekst en Lezer 2: Van Moderniteit naar Postmoderniteit, Amsterdam, 2013/2014;

  • Thiselton, Anthony C., Hermeneutics: An Introduction, Grand Rapids, 2009;

  • Porter, Stanley E., Robinson, Jason C., Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Interpretive Theory, Grand Rapids, 2011.