/ hɝːmənjuːtɪks /
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ETYM Greek hermeneus interpreter, akin to hermes secret.
The branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis.
Philosophical tradition concerned with the nature of understanding and interpretation of human behavior and social traditions. From its origins in problems of biblical interpretation, hermeneutics has expanded to cover many fields of inquiry, including esthetics, literary theory, and science. The German philosophers Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, and Hans-Georg Gadamer were influential contributors to this tradition.