Nevin: Sacred Hermeneutics

“The point of Nevin’s sacramental hermeneutics is that the spiritual and the ideal must clothe itself, must embody itself, in the medium of human expression. Consequently, language is neither an end in itself (analytical philosophy; literary hermeneutics), nor a circular system of signs and symbols with no entrance or no exit (deconstructionism), but a bridge to reality and a gateway to being. To say anything less would reduce the Incarnation and the sacraments to nominal abstractions or magical singularities at best (p. 77).”

“In allegory, the historical level of the text plays only a minor role in interpretation. In typology, however, history is taken more seriously. It is regarded as the external medium of God’s redemptive plan. The object of typology is to uncover the Christological correspondence between the two testaments in order to demonstrate the historical continuity of this plan. Typology, then, differs from allegory by accenting the historical, that is, one historical figure is regarded as the prophetic type of another (William DiPuccio, The Interior Sense of Scripture: The Sacred Hermeneutic of John W. Nevin, p. 91).”