The Fall of Interpretation

The Fall of Interpretation

Basic information

  • Author(s):
  • Published: April 1, 2012
  • Page count: 256
  • ISBN: 9780801039720
  • eBook ISBN: 9781441236326

The Fall of Interpretation

One of the most engaging and innovative Christian scholars of our day provides an updated interaction with contemporary hermeneutical discussions.

In this provocative book James K. A. Smith, one of the most engaging Christian scholars of our day, offers an innovative approach to hermeneutics. The second edition of Smith's well-received debut book provides updated interaction with contemporary hermeneutical discussions and responds to criticisms.


"The first edition of James K. A. Smith's Fall of Interpretation cast a clear, sharp light on the important topic of difference in interpretation, and the contribution he made to the theological understanding of hermeneutics has still not been fully appreciated. This second edition, with a new introduction and an added chapter that draws on Smith's further years of philosophical, theological exploration, makes an even more powerful claim for the attention of anyone concerned about the prospects for hermeneutics."
--A. K. M. Adam, lecturer in New Testament, University of Glasgow

"In the hands of the unskilled or unwise, hermeneutics can be dangerous, fueling a blaze of apocalyptic fire where interpretation dissolves creaturely goodness into a relativistic morass. Nonetheless, as Smith persuasively argues, interpretation is inevitable. To reject it for 'immediacy' is to close one's eyes to the obvious. Smith shows how hermeneutics emerges not from our sinfulness but from our creaturely goodness. This second edition guides the reader along Smith's own path, resisting the 'emergent' temptation in favor of 'catholic' substance."
--D. Stephen Long, professor of systematic theology, Marquette University

"With the absence of an 'interpretive police,' in the first edition of The Fall of Interpretation James K. A. Smith worried how to keep at bay the charge of relativism. This revised edition unambiguously affirms the particularity of the Nicene tradition as the locale for genuine interpretation of Scripture. Smith cogently argues that we need the church's authoritative theological interpretation of Scripture to live with the varying degrees of the author's 'real presence' in the text."
--Hans Boersma, J. I. Packer Professor of Theology, Regent College


  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: