On Horizontal Transcendence
Can the turn caused by the Protestant Reformation, which started 500 years ago, be understood in all its complexity without considering its hermeneutical aspects? Does the “actuality” of the Reformation, which addresses our present-day world, not manifest itself primarily as a hermeneutical actuality, or rather the actuality of hermeneutics? These are the questions motivating my investigation on the relationship between the hermeneutical turn of Martin Luther’s Reformation and the Schleiermacherian-Gadamerian turn of modern hermeneutics, respectively on the horizontal and the vertical orientation of transcendence, with special attention to the ontological status of the sacred Word and to modernity’s experience of finitude in establishing the horizontal transcendence, which will prevail again with the Reformation.
In the second part of my essay, I focus on the analysis of three modernization processes ‒methodological awareness, practical worldly rationality, and technological functionality ‒, in which the verticalization tendencies opposed to the prevalence of the horizontal transcendence, based on the mutual interconnectedness of finitude and completeness, keep on recurring and attempt to disrupt their togetherness, counteracting the hermeneutical attitude.
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