The need for a philosophical reading of the Bible systematically arises for Kant from the double articulation of his philosophy of religion: beside a rational (moral) account for the faith in God it includes also the delineation of an ethical-religious community destined for the whole mankind and requiring the support of an authoritative text. Hence the need both to examine the Scriptures of Christian tradition – the only properly religious according to Kant – and to state principles and criteria of their interpretation. The explicit standards formulated by Kant have therefore no general hermeneutic validity, but only one limited to the narrower scope of such an ethical-ecclesial use. His interpretative practice, however, lets us recognise a much wider and more differentiated approach with several levels and tasks of reading.
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