Interpretation, dialogue, and understanding animate each aspect of life. Hermeneutics is the vehicle for a life-project. One may say that it is our vocation to be interpreters, and that this is a necessary condition for human life. A hermeneutical apprenticeship is one in which the ability to reflect with vigilance upon each of our historical situations without ever completely absolving our loyalty to either the transient, sometimes trivial moment, or the more enduring and sometimes authentic 'spirit of the age,' prounces a vocation upon us. This book brings together ten essays and other writings, which address these general themes in diverse but related ways. The critique of the use of interpretation theories in the social sciences, the analysis of some of the figures associated with their advent, and the observation and commentary of the culture of the thinkers and teachers who participate in this work are all necessary facets in the exploration of the dynamic of lived experience and reflective consciousness.
G.V. Loewen is Assistant Professor of Sociology, Northwest Missouri State University.