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An incisive examination of the relation between historiography and hermeneutics over the past three hundred years of western thought. Murray Rae argues that the practice of contemporary biblical hermeneutics has been radically impaired by a widespread allegiance to a series of problematic assumptions about history. He offers a theological account of what history is, centred on the categories of creation and divine promise, and proposes that it is within this theological conception of history that the "Bible" may be understood on its own terms. "History and Hermeneutics" is both critical and constructive, identifying the crucial problems and proposing a way forward. The ecclesial reading of Scripture and the value of tradition are rehabilitated, and an account is given of how we may properly ask the question, 'What really happened?'
Murray Rae is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theology, University of Otago, New Zealand.