Prompt Two: Does hermeneutics provide a meaningful approach to the interpretation of religious texts and beliefs, or is it incompatible with the nature of religious truth? How does the use of hermeneutics in theology offer insights into countering relativist and dogmatic interpretations and fostering critical engagement?
Instructions: Develop a 5-6 page research-based academic argument that examines the compatibility of hermeneutics with the interpretation of religious texts and beliefs, particularly in relation to addressing relativism and dogmatism. Argue either for or against the use of hermeneutics in theology, discussing its potential to provide a meaningful approach that encourages critical engagement and challenges relativistic and dogmatic interpretations. Support your argument with examples from the theories of hermeneutical scholars. Utilize 5-6 scholarly sources to develop, support, and defend your argument.
If you are feeling lost or stuck, take a moment to reflect on these examples: Interpretations of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn; Christian fundamentalism; the Riggs v. Palmer court case; or the discovery of intracellular enzymes in the study of fermentation.
Write to an academic audience. Use academic voice.
Complete all tasks listed below in the order they are presented.
You must use a minimum of 5-6 scholarly and credible sources in the paper.
JSTOR and Ebsco Host are excellent research databases for locating scholarly and credible sources. Both are accessible online through PCC’s Shatford Library. Please note that Jens Zimmermann’s Hermeneutics: A Very Short Introduction counts as one scholarly and credible source.
This paper must be no less than 5-6 full pages of written text (no exceptions), typed (Times New Roman, 12-pt. font) and double-spaced, with 1” margins and page numbers in the top right-hand corner. The works cited page does not count as a page of written text!
Writing Tasks (in order):
Introduction (1 Paragraph):
Write an introduction that grabs the audience’s attention, provides background information on the topic, and narrows the scope of your research, analysis, and argument. Then smoothly transition to the thesis statement.
Thesis Statement: State the thesis (main argument) at the end of the introduction. Very clearly identify and define your main argument (thesis) in the essay. Your thesis must directly respond to one of the writing prompts listed above. Do not write a list in the thesis
Body Paragraphs (4-5 Paragraphs):
Topic Sentence: Begin each body paragraph with a focused topic sentence. All topic sentences must directly support the thesis. Do not use quotes or examples as topic sentences!
Supporting Sentence(s): Unpack, elaborate, and explain each topic sentence.
Concrete Details: Each paragraph must include concrete details that clearly illustrate the main point (topic sentence) of the paragraph.
Quotations: Each paragraph must include at least one quotation from the scholarly and credible sources you use to develop your paper. Introduce the author (upon first mention), source title (upon first mention), and the context of each quotation (always). Explain and connect every quotation to the main point (topic sentence) of the paragraph. Do not quote drop! Cite all quotations in MLA format.
Commentary/Reasoning: Unpack the concrete details and quotations in each paragraph and explain how they support the topic sentence. Provide a line of reasoning for every claim you make; you must explain how you have arrived at your ideas!!!
Anticipate an academic audience that asks who, what, when, where, why, how, and so what after every claim you advance. Preemptively respond to these questions.
Concluding Sentence: The last sentence of each body paragraph must tie the whole paragraph back to the thesis of the paper.
Counterargument (1 Paragraph):
Address at least one realistic counterargument in a counterargument paragraph. You must be attuned to the potential rejections and criticism of your thesis.
You must use one scholarly and credible source to develop the counterargument.
The counterargument paragraph must address a potential and realistic argument against your thesis. Who argues against your thesis? What is their line of reasoning?
Then you must refute the counterargument. What are the shortcomings of the counterargument? Why is your argument more substantial? What new point can you bring into the paper to support your thesis?
The counterargument paragraph must be placed right before the concluding paragraph of the essay.
Conclusion (1 Paragraph):
Summarizes the main ideas without repetition. Do not restate your thesis!
Make sure the conclusion leaves the audience with a clear understanding of the prompt you are responding to.
Move the reader forward.
Papers must be fundamentally argumentative in their approach, advancing a clearly identifiable thesis with appropriate evidence, reasoning, and textual support.
First ask questions and then come up with your analysis and argument. Do not begin with a conclusion and then seek to justify it. Engage in dialogue with the course material and the research sources you locate; understand the ideas; use them fairly.
Reference your question sets to aide you with idea generation.
Do not use the words “I” or “you” in your writing. I also suggest that you limit the use of “we” and “our” to avoid the fallacy of omniscience. Also refrain from beginning sentences with the words “it” or “this” unless the subjects/objects they refer to are very clearly indicated.
Anticipate an academic audience that asks who, what, when, where, why, how, and so what after every claim you make. Preemptively respond to these questions with reasons, explanations, examples, and/or support.
Use textual support effectively. Do not let it replace your own ideas/writing. Do not overly-rely on any single source.
Ensure that there is a logical progression of ideas. Your ideas/paragraphs must be organized.