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Schleiermacher’s thought was influenced especially by three factors: a desire to offer a credible theological response to the challenge of Kant’s transcendental philosophy; his upbringing in Christian pietism and retention of many (but not all) of its elements; and his sympathetic resonance with emerging Romanticism. The first factor led to a new era in theology (often regarded as the beginning of ‘modern’ theology), namely, engaging with grounds for the very possibility of theology and the nature of understanding (Verstehen) as such. Transcendental philosophy asks not simply what we know, but on what basis we may claim to know at all. Schleiermacher redefined hermeneutics as a study of the conditions for the possibility of understanding. Second, his debt to pietism led him to emphasize the role of experience, relationality, and a sense of immediate dependence upon God as a given, from which Christian doctrine is derivative. This is more than a mere ‘feeling,’ but an immediacy in which the infinite finds expression in the finite, contingent, and historical. Third, with Romanticist writers he stressed the creativity and livingness of understanding. Texts, in effect, become what is left behind in the wake of creative vision, and interpretation seeks to recapture the living vision that gives rise to the text.