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Wirkungsgeschichte, Reception History, Reception Theory

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal for the Study of the New Testament
Issue number2
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)137-146
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In an attempt to introduce Wirkungsgeschichte, reception history and reception theory, this article begins by considering the different histories each term carries. Although each term signals something slightly different, their collective effect is to raise questions about the historical-critical method that continues to dominate New Testament studies.
The main focus of the article is Gadamer’s idea of Wirkungsgeschichte, a term that has, for good reason, been read in various ways by New Testament scholars. Acknowledging that different readings of the term exist, I turn to Gadamer’s broader thesis in Truth and Method and suggest that the purpose of Wirkungsgeschichte is to enable an interpretative conversation rather than to define a new scientific methodology.