Narrative and ontology: Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic philosophy as a guide to theological method

Xavier Lakshmanan

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    253 Downloads (Pure)


    This thesis argues for a textual linguistic theology shaped in conversation with Paul Ricoeur. Ricoeur's philosophical hermeneutics can help to inform the way Christians interpret and appropriate biblical narratives without delimiting the potential of the biblical text or eroding the distinctiveness of its language. The text can be appropriated in ways that address the fundamental questions of life, so that new meanings are constantly generated from the same text. Ricoeur sees the self as linked inseparably with narrative; every interpretation of narrative is at the same time a reinterpretation of the self and of its possibilities. Such interpretation - where the reader interprets the text and the text interprets the reader - aims to open up the world of the text and to uncover the "textual" structure of existence itself. The reality that unfolds through language discloses the possibilities of existence, and in this way the text creates a future. A revised identity emerges against the horizon of that future. It is at this point that the aim of Ricoeur's project converges with the aim of Christian discourse: namely, to give a coherent and dynamic account of the self against a horizon of hope.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Myers, Benjamin, Principal Supervisor
    • Pearson, Clive, Co-Supervisor
    Award date01 Aug 2013
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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