A detailed and elegantly argued work moving easily between the history of early Christian thought, contemporary hermeneutics, and theological construction.
Wraps unmarked, a little neat pencil side-lining (easily erased) on a few pages only. xv + 304pp.
In Hermeneutics and the Church , James A. Andrews presents a close reading of De doctrina christiana as a whole and places Augustine's text into dialogue with contemporary theological hermeneutics. The dialogical nature of the exercise allows Augustine to remain a living voice in contemporary debates about the use of theology in biblical interpretation. In particular, Andrews puts Augustine's hermeneutical treatise into dialogue with the theologians Werner Jeanrond and Stephen Fowl. Andrews argues on the basis of De doctrina christiana that the paradigm for theological interpretation is the sermon and that its end is to engender the double love of God and neighbor. With the sermon as the paradigm of interpretation, Hermeneutics and the Church offers practical conclusions for future work in historical theology and biblical interpretation. For Augustine scholars, Andrews offers a reading of De doctrina that takes seriously the entirety of the work and allows Augustine to speak consistently through words written at the beginning and end of his bishopric. For theologians, this book provides a model of how to engage theologically with the past, and, more than that, it offers the actual fruits of such an engagement: suggestions for the discipline of theological hermeneutics and the practice of scriptural interpretation. " Hermeneutics and the Church: In Dialogue with Augustine contributes both to Augustine studies and to the emerging interdisciplinary discussion about theological interpretation of scripture. Andrews makes a convincing case that Augustine is working with an expanded, a posteriori theological hermeneutics that aims at both understanding and communication, respects authorial meaning, and guides readers to growth in faith and love." - Kevin Vanhoozer, Wheaton College