I’m working on some thoughts towards an application of integral theory in the realm of hermeneutics to Biblical Studies/Biblical Theology. Next term I have a much lighter course load and it will be the last real span of time before I head more full time into ministry (I graduate in April), so I’m hoping to spend from December on throughout the new year on essentially a book-length treatment of this subject.
I’m spending most of my time reading legal theory. Theories in constitutional law and so forth. While that might seem a little orthogonal to what I’m after, remember that theology and law grow out of the same medieval garden: think canon law. Gadamer makes this point forcefully in Method and Truth. Namely that legal and exegetical/biblical hermeneutics are both forms of understanding/reading that overcome the modern era mistake of assuming there is some way to get to the real meaning of the text either through divination of the author’s original intention (UL in Quadrants), the original public meaning of a text (LL) or through syntactical-grammatical readings (UR and LR).
Gadamer understood that in these disciplines particularly (law and theology) interpretation was a “putting out”, a kind of punting of the boat aimed to a direction.
Where his view and the view of postmodern theory generally breaks down is there is no clear way to validate and/or assess these various puntings. Particularly how to maintain the integrity of texts from the corrosive personalizing or culturalizing & politicizing tendencies seen too often in pomo thought. Where the text begins to mean whatever my personal or cultural ego says it means.
The pomo turn overcomes the holdovers of the neo-positivism (“I can actually get to the what the text really means for all times and places separate from myself”/observer mode of consciousness) but as I said then creates this other problem.
So I’m toying with some ideas, but am not quite there yet.