Cultures of interpretation. Foundations of a comparatistic description of Islamic and Christian hermeneutical traditions
Based on Alfred Schütz´ "theory of relevance" the author develops a model for the comparatistic study of "cultures of interpretation" - in critical comparison with other current hermeneutic theories. The model uses a descriptive grid which allows for an inter- and intracultural comparison of different hermeneutical traditions and contexts, synchronically and diachronically. The theoretical discussion of methods is followed by two extensive case studies of an exemplary kind: Interpretive approaches from the tradition of Quran exegesis and medieval and early modern Bible exegesis are presented in a way that allows for structural comparison. The two traditions are analyzed in a systematic and historical perspective regarding their common as well as their cultural- and time-specific aspects, using the means of the sociology of knowledge.
Keywords: Islamic exegesis, Bible exegesis, theory of relevance, relevance theory, Schütz, A., sociology of knowledge, hermeneutic traditions, comparative methods, cultural comparison