Hans-Georg Gadamer and the Philosophy of Religion

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Abstract

Gadamer sought to distinguish his philosophical hermeneutics from theologically driven hermeneutics. Perhaps because of that, even though he has influenced contemporary theological hermeneutics, he has very little to say about theology or religion. What he does say about religion is drawn from a reductive interpretation of religion as myths meant that posit something transcendent to help us cope with our awareness of our death. Here I explain why he thought Christianity was such a paradoxical religion, how his views might be useful for philosophers of religion and how they have been useful for theologians. I end with a critical discussion of Nicholas Wolterstorff's interpretation of Gadamer's views.

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