glimpse of person reading by a train window

about …

… matters of interpretation

Notes, quotes, questions, and thoughts on what I read, from where I read it.

These regularly include notes and questions for the weekly scripture text we’re studying in the adult class that meets midweek at the Corydon Presbyterian Church in Corydon, Indiana. [Please feel free to contact me for the Zoom link if you’d like to join us for that! Physical, geographical location seems to matter less these days, and you’ll be more than welcome.]

Other matters surface occasionally.

red line embellished

… the hermeneutrix

I’m HAT (Heather Anne Thiessen, M.Div., Ph.D.), a happily married, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church-going, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out white lesbian Hoosier mom. (In the words of one of my professors, “too theologically conservative, too socially liberal – that’s your whole problem in a nutshell.” If you call that a problem.) I used to teach religious studies to undergraduates at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky. These days I help out from time to time at some Presbyterian churches around Southern Indiana. “Context is everything.”

red line embellished

… utopian discourse

Matters of Interpretation is the successor to an earlier blog, Utopian Discourse. Because the internet is forever, its sitemap still contains that little patch of thought about utopia. Like so much other utopian discourse, it takes place in the present as memory.


Embrace negative capability.

Knowledge has no light but that shed on the world by redemption: all else is reconstruction, mere technique. Perspectives must be fashioned that displace and estrange the world, reveal it to be, with its rifts and crevices, as indigent and distorted as it will appear one day in the messianic light. … It is the simplest of things … but it is also the utterly impossible thing, because it presupposes a standpoint removed, even though by a hair’s breadth, from the scope of existence, whereas we well know that any possible knowledge must not only be first wrested from what is, if it shall hold good, but is also marked, for this very reason, by the same distortion and indigence which it seeks to escape. The more passionately thought denies its conditionality for the sake of the unconditional, the more unconsciously, and so calamitously, it is delivered up to the world.

[Theodor W. Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life, trans. E.F.N. Jephcott (New York: Verso, 1974) 247.]

Images: “Train window person reading,” Ana Martin anamartin, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons; “Still Life with Books and Cup” by Antonín Procházka, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; the hermeneutrix on a really good day – all rights reserved; “Evening Reflection 2” by Atelier ŽITNIK, optimistically CC BY-SA 4.0, originally via Wikimedia Commons