Friedrich Schleiermacher is often referred to as "the father of modern hermeneutics." He was a Protestant, and is highly respected by many Protestant interpreters for his contributions to the field.

Surprisingly, however, most modern Protestant interpreters seem to reject Schleiermacher's teachings on the method and goal of interpretation; namely that:

"the interpreter should align himself with the mind of the author and re-create the whole thought of the text as part of the author's life. The interpreter's task then is to reconstruct not only the text but the whole process of creating the thought on the part of the author." [1]

I am curious if there are any modern hermeneutical traditions (or textbooks) which have "carried the torch" of Schleiermacher's teachings on attempting to "recreate" the thought process which led to the creation of the text?

[1] Grant R. Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral, (Downers Grove: IVP, 2006), 486

  • 1
    Here's an entire article that answers this question. He influenced the direction of the entire field. I can't answer your question in a reasonable time frame so I'm just going to link to this: academia.edu/1141932/…
    – Dan
    Feb 1, 2013 at 5:10
  • Wow thanks Dan! This looks like a great article; I'm looking forward to reading it.
    – Jas 3.1
    Feb 10, 2013 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


In the scientific world, exegesis is currently done with the historical-critical method, which clearly is a legacy of Schleiermacher (cf. linked section of the WP article).

So you'll find someone carrying his torch pretty much in any theology faculty whose staff publishes in scientific journals and conferences.

  • Hi Nowhere, thanks for contributing here and welcome to the site :) I've edited in a supporting quote from the Wikipedia article you linked to, I hope you are happy with that? Feb 13, 2013 at 11:30
  • 3
    @Nowhereman I'm looking forward to seeing more of your answers on this site. Additionally, your research sounds fascinating and I should like to read some of it.
    – swasheck
    Feb 13, 2013 at 16:15

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