Session Title

Hermeneutics through a Glass Darkly: Occlusion and Interpretation in the Age of Gerson

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Jean Gerson Society

Organizer Name

Matthew Vanderpoel

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Presider Name

Wendy Love Anderson

Presider Affiliation

Washington Univ. in St. Louis

Paper Title 1

Monica's Visionary Hermeneutics: Augustine and Gerson on the Uncertainty of Dreams

Presenter 1 Name

Sean Hannan

Presenter 1 Affiliation

MacEwan Univ.

Paper Title 2

The Hermeneutics of Desire: Denis the Carthusian on 1 Corinthians 13:12 and the Elicited Love for God

Presenter 2 Name

Daniel W. Houck

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Southern Methodist Univ.

Paper Title 3

"Super Hanc Petram": Pierre d'Ailly's Reading of Matthew 16:18

Presenter 3 Name

Daniel Owings

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Chicago

Start Date

11-5-2017 10:00 AM

Session Location

Valley III Stinson 306

Description

At the start of the fifteenth century, much of Europe found itself gripped by religious, political, and social uncertainty. At the same time, innovative accounts of language and knowledge circulated in the wake of Ockham, Petrarch, and others. This session will interrogate how methods of textual interpretation changed amid both this acute awareness of societal upheaval and the growing dissatisfaction with earlier theories of language. In so doing, the session aims to explicate understudied intersections between the age's vibrant philosophical, literary, and theological discourses. Jean Gerson (1363-1429), chancellor of the University of Paris, stands as an ideal touchstone for this investigation given his prolific activity as theologian, semiotician, exegete, poet, and litterateur while vocally engaged in many of the crises of his day. Thus, the session will consider how uncertainty--broadly construed--occluded, transmuted, and/or reconstituted the hermeneutic task in late-medieval Europe. Potential questions include, but are certainly not limited to: how does the genre of an interpretive text (e.g., glossal commentary, verse translation, quaestio) alter the hermeneutic process? when are texts understood to obscure their own interpretation? what are the limits of one's interpretive knowledge? and how do certain texts, like poetry or scripture, allow distinctive (or preclude typical!) hermeneutic practices?

Matthew Vanderpoel, University of Chicago

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May 11th, 10:00 AM

Hermeneutics through a Glass Darkly: Occlusion and Interpretation in the Age of Gerson

Valley III Stinson 306

At the start of the fifteenth century, much of Europe found itself gripped by religious, political, and social uncertainty. At the same time, innovative accounts of language and knowledge circulated in the wake of Ockham, Petrarch, and others. This session will interrogate how methods of textual interpretation changed amid both this acute awareness of societal upheaval and the growing dissatisfaction with earlier theories of language. In so doing, the session aims to explicate understudied intersections between the age's vibrant philosophical, literary, and theological discourses. Jean Gerson (1363-1429), chancellor of the University of Paris, stands as an ideal touchstone for this investigation given his prolific activity as theologian, semiotician, exegete, poet, and litterateur while vocally engaged in many of the crises of his day. Thus, the session will consider how uncertainty--broadly construed--occluded, transmuted, and/or reconstituted the hermeneutic task in late-medieval Europe. Potential questions include, but are certainly not limited to: how does the genre of an interpretive text (e.g., glossal commentary, verse translation, quaestio) alter the hermeneutic process? when are texts understood to obscure their own interpretation? what are the limits of one's interpretive knowledge? and how do certain texts, like poetry or scripture, allow distinctive (or preclude typical!) hermeneutic practices?

Matthew Vanderpoel, University of Chicago