First published in 2004. This study begins by surveying the field of modern hermeneutics. Noting its repeated crisis of self-legitimisation, it traces these to circular beliefs bequeathed by Romanticism that human nature is self-begetting, and can thus be known intimately and autonomously.
After providing a historical overview of how human nature had been understood, the focus shifts to the attack in Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria on Wordsworth’s 1802 Preface to Lyrical Ballads, and to a reading of some key Romantic texts. It reads Coleridge’s famous definition of the imagination as an attack on Romantic hermeneuticsm, roots in the traditional view that man has been created in Imago Dei. This title will be of interest to students of literature.