[Buddha-l] Re: [Karma and ethics [was: angels]

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Sat May 28 12:28:54 MDT 2005

Richard P. Hayes schreef:

>The fact that Buddhist thinking continues has no bearing at all on the
>question of what it meant historically. Here it might be useful to be
>reminded of the distinction between exegesis and hermeneutics. The
>former is the study of what documents meant at the time they were
>written, the later is the discussion of what those documents can mean
>now. If one is striving to be historically accurate--if one is doing
>exegesis--then it is misleading to read into old texts what we would now
>like them to mean.
>All I am trying to say is that one should be clear what one is doing. If
>one is doing exegesis of Buddhist texts, then it is best to keep out
>categories that were alien to them at the time they were written. Once
>one has done that, one can then do hermeneutics, but it's impossible to
>do good hermeneutics until one has first done a respectable job of
I disagree, hermeneutics is to let the text do the talking, exegesis is 
to explain a text according to preestablished criteria.  It's perfectly 
well possible to question a text hermeneutically about it's original 
meaning if you can find the original questions.
Of course it's always very useful to know what one's doing. :-)


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