Introduction to Orthodox Hermeneutics

This class is meant to be a broad introduction not to what we Orthodox read in the scriptures (“interpretation”), but to how we hear them (“hermeneutics”), which is—we believe—the manner in which the scriptures themselves want to be heard. The emphasis of the class will be on interpretive traditions which differentiate us—often radically—from other hermeneutics, non-Orthodox and/or scholarly, such as the historical criticism dominant in today’s academia. Also, this class does not teach the content of the scriptures.

This class is for everyone who is interested in how we Orthodox interpret the scriptures. It requires no prior knowledge of Orthodox interpretive traditions, but only an interest in them. It is also meant both for people with and without formal education in Christian scriptures or, more broadly, in “theology.” Yet, it does presuppose a general familiarity with the content of the scriptures in general.

The course will meet 7 times, for 3 hours each time. Class materials will be shared for free in pdf in an online folder. They will consist of primary texts—the scriptures themselves and both older and recent patristic texts—and secondary literature, that is, literature analyzing these texts. Because this class is not for credit with any institution, it will be free of the constraints placed by such affiliations. The emphasis will be solely placed on comprehension rather than memorization, and the assignments are conceived accordingly. They will consist of close readings of scriptural interpretive texts (in which the scriptures interpret themselves or in which they say how they want to be heard) and of patristic interpretive texts with the purpose of discerning the interpretive principles and practices at work in them.

More info coming soon, course starting in March 2023. If you are interested, please express your interest through the contact page so that I can email you the detailed information about the course in due time. Also, in order to receive updates on this class, please follow this website through the “leave a comment” function at the bottom of the main page.