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From the Bookshelf

The Commonality of Communication

In an introductory essay for his edited volume Modelling Early Christianity: Social-Scientific Studies of the New Testament in Its Context, Phillip Esler observes that

All human groups, however diverse, are capable of communicating with one another. Merely to entertain the possibility of one culture seeking to understand or even translate another presupposes the necessary foundations in human nature and human sociality which transcend ethnographic particularity (Esler 6).

Consequently, despite all of the task’s attendant dangers, there is this good reason, among others, to be hermeneutically hopeful when approaching the New Testament or other ancient pieces of literature, for “[t]ime is no[t] primarily a gulf to be bridged because it separates; it is actually the supportive ground of the course of events in which the present is rooted” (Gadamer 297).

In this post:

Modelling Early Christianity

Philip Esler

Hans Georg Gadamer

Hans Georg Gadamer


About David Stark

Associate Professor


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This site and its content are licensed by J. David Stark under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person(s) or institution(s).
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