Tag Archives: hermeneutical shift

A Short, Animated Introduction to the Social Trinity

The four videos in this playlist introduce the Social Trinity and were created for the Deep in the Burbs Research Team.

Here is a Prezi that includes these 4 videos, but goes deeper into the history of the discussion and the theological texts.

Here are links to some of the key ideas and thinkers referred to in these videos.

The social Trinity begins with the three persons of the Trinity (as described in the Christian Scriptures) and seeks to understand how the relationship1 between the persons is the very essence2 of life itself. The fancy-schmansy word for this is relational ontology.3 The social Trinity is also known, by some, as the Economic Trinity.  The term economic comes from the Greek word oikos–meaning house. It does not refer to money, as we understand economy, but, rather, refers to the activity of God within the “house” of the created universe. The social–or Economic– Trinity stands in contrast to the traditional view of God as three persons within Godself. This traditional view is known as the Immanent Trinity (immanent means “operating or existing within”) and emphasizes the oneness of God as God relates to the world from outside of creation. read more

  1. thus the term “social” []
  2. the Greek word for essence can also be translated substance. The discussion of the substance of God–and of all things–is called ontology. Thus, the social Trinity speaks of a relational ontology as opposed to a substance ontology []
  3. Zizioulas is a Greek Orthodox theologian that speaks about this. read a review of his book. Or, view the relational ontology tag for all the related posts. []

Book | Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics by Jean Grondin

introduction to philosophical hermeneutics coverGrondin, Jean. Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1994.

Jean Grondin

Author – Jean Grondin

The following illustration represents the history that Grondin sets forth in this book. It provides a nice frame for understanding how hermeneutics shifted in the mid-twentieth century from positivism to a more communicative, constructivist perspective. This was not an overnight switch, nor was it a complete shift, of course. The perspective that is now considered post-modern, or late-modern is actually the natural product of the romantic movement in the 19th century. Grondin explains how the violence of the early 20th century exposed the shortcomings of rationalism and positivism, thus opening the door for the neo-romantic philosophies to bloom. read more

Reading List for the Hermeneutical Shift

Benhabib, Seyla, and Fred R. Dallmayr. The Communicative Ethics Controversy Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990.

Best, Steven, and Douglas Kellner. The Postmodern Turn. Critical Perspectives. New York: Guilford Press, 1997.

Brown, Delwin, Sheila Greeve Davaney, Kathryn Tanner, and American Academy of Religion. Converging on Culture: Theologians in Dialogue with Cultural Analysis and Criticism. The American Academy of Religion Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. read more

Tracing the History of the Hermeneutical Shift

My research is framed within the post/late modern conversation that is happening around the topic of hermeneutics and epistemology. This essay will trace a brief history of the hermeneutical shift. It will begin with Plato and Aristotle and take us to the beginning of the twentieth Century.

Plato and Aristotle

Western culture has been dominated by the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Both philosophers functioned under the same dominant cosmological assumption. They believed the universe was divided into two basic ontological substances. There was the real substance, on the one hand, which could be described as divine, spiritual, eternal, immortal, indivisible, immutable, perfect, etc. This real substance was the realm of the ideal forms. The other substance was the realm of the material. It was the shadowy projection of the ideal realm. This shadow land is where humans exist and can be described as material, mortal, finite, temporal, imperfect. read more