Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition


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Chapters in the Ancient Legacy and Its Humanist Reception

Kathy Eden

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This book poses an eloquent challenge to the common conception of the hermeneutical tradition as a purely modern German specialty. Kathy Eden traces a continuous tradition of interpretation from Republican Rome to Reformation Europe, arguing that the historical grounding of modern hermeneutics is in the ancient tradition of rhetoric.

Kathy Eden is professor of English and comparative literature and chair of Literature Humanities at Columbia University.

"Eden's scholarship is broad and deep, her style always economical, and her sense of argument pointed and forceful."—Joel Weinsheimer

"With this slim, well-researched, and persuasively argued volume, Eden makes an important contribution to the history of hermeneutics."—Choice

"One of the very few attempts to give a rich historical account of rhetoric as a strong frame for serious inquiry."—Nancy S. Struever, Common Knowledge

"Eden's book is one of those rare works that can serve as a superb introduction to the subject and edify those already possessing considerable familiarity with debates in rhetoric and hermeneutics. She exhibits the stylistic excellence that has always been one of the principle aims of rhetorical education, for her text does full justice to its themes without losing clarity, elegance, or economy."—Don H. Compier, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

"Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition is a wonderful treatment of a rich topic, and it is a measure of Eden's success that she makes us wish her book were twice as long."—Victoria Kahn, Modern Philology

"The breadth of Eden's account will attract a wide assortment of readers, many of whom will decide that more needs to be studied in this tradition."—David C. Mirhady, Religious Studies Review

"The value of this book for specialists is in its expert excavation of the classical foundations, with documentation and argumentation certain to stimulate research on their Renaissance inheritance."—Marjorie O'Rourke Boyle, Renaissance Quarterly

"Eden's volume will be useful not only to those who are eager for an understanding of the history of hermeneutics, but also for experts who would like to broaden the context of their understanding. The text features a very useful set of notes and a thorough bibliography of secondary sources that will be especially helpful to those interested in classical and medieval hermeneutics. . . . A rich resource for further study."—William Rankin, Restoration Quarterly

"This book works an effective balance between written economy and great scholarly depth. Such a stylistic blend should provide ample access points for both experts and novices interested in theories of interpretation, antiquity and rhetoric."—Richard A. Miller, Rhetorica

"If rhetoric is a body, Eden has traced some of its subcutaneous undulations with the acuity of an anatomist. The weaving of the historical inquiry, probing analysis, and gnomic pronouncement is masterful in this short, provocative book. Hermeneutics and the Rhetorical Tradition is immensely valuable to historians of rhetoric, reading, humanism, and literature."—Stephen Pender, Sixteenth Century Journal

"Eden's concise and conceptually clear work examines the history of interpretatio scripti, the ancient and continuing rhetorical tradition for the interpretation of texts. . . . This is a very fine book, clear, perceptive, accurate and instructive."—Frederick J. McGinness, Theological Studies

"This elegant and succinct study traces the influence of these ideas through the 'pre-history' of the hermeneutic discipline. . . .Eden presents these ideas with great clarity and economy, without in any way over simplifying the complexities of the arguments. . . . Her work makes a difficult field more accessible and provides unifying themes for those considering the fields covered here and for those interested in later hermeneutics."—Times Literary Supplement

ISBN: 9780300111354
Publication Date: April 10, 2005
128 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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