Intersubjectivity, Hermeneutics, and the Production of Knowledge in Qualitative Mennonite Scholarship

Matthew Peter Unger

Abstract


In this article, the author explores the nature of interpretation as it pertains to qualitative methods of inquiry. He elaborates on the epistemological problems that occur in discussions of the nature of human and social sciences as distinct from the theoretical foundations of the natural sciences. The examination of Mennonite scholarship provides an interesting case study as to the requirements of a hermeneutical social science because of the range of scholarly frameworks and varying locations of identity of the scholars in relation to the broader Mennonite community. The author argues that Mennonite scholarship is novel in the manner by which Mennonite scholars contribute to and participate within broad Mennonite intersubjective understandings. By extension, Mennonite scholars are able to deal with common epistemological problems and dichotomies that arise in the context of the researcher and the object of study.

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