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Conducting Hermeneutic Research

From Philosophy to Practice


Nancy J. Moules, Graham McCaffrey, James C. Field and Catherine M. Laing

Conducting Hermeneutic Research: From Philosophy to Practice is the only textbook that teaches the reader ways to conduct research from a philosophical hermeneutic perspective. It is an invaluable resource for graduate students about to embark in hermeneutic research and for academics or other researchers who are novice to this research method or who wish to extend their knowledge. In 2009, the lead author of this proposed text was one of three co-founders of the Canadian Hermeneutic Institute. The institute was created as a means of bringing together scholars of hermeneutics and hermeneutic research across disciplines in creative dialogue and conversations of philosophy, research, and practice. An outcome of this was the launch of the Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, with Nancy J. Moules serving as Editor. The work of the institute and the journal make clear that people (both students and professors) seek practical guidance on how to conduct hermeneutic research. This book is a must read for this audience.
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Afterword: Catching Hermeneutics in the Act



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Nancy J. Moules1 & Graham McCaffrey1

As 2014 came to a close, we sent to publication with Peter Lang publishers a book manuscript entitled “Conducting Hermeneutic Research: From Philosophy to Practice” (Moules, McCaffrey, Field, & Laing, in press). As we await publication, we have been reflecting on the very intense, important, and exceedingly difficult work of writing this particular book.

We had the privilege of Dr. John D. Caputo writing a foreword to the book and he offered this remarkable comment saying that the book…

catches hermeneutics in the act. It brings home in the most vivid way just what hermeneutics really is – in the concrete. Its authors are concretely engaged and hermeneutically enlightened practitioners who are describing the difficult and delicate conditions under which concrete hermeneutical work takes place. (Caputo, in Moules et al., in press)

These are humbling words that could not more clearly elucidate the difficulties that writing the book held – it was difficult and delicate work and, at times, it was wordless work, a challenge when you are trying to write a book! Catching something is tricky business and especially tricky if what you are ← 199 | 200 → after is the exact opposite. We did not want to catch and entrap hermeneutics as a research “method” – we wanted to catch it “in the act” of the world – in the ways it allows things to act...

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