Although Dr. Herman Waetjen was professionally trained to practice the scientific criticisms of biblical interpretation, his religious grounding was determined by German Pietism, a movement founded by August Hermann Franke (1663-1727) that intended to replace the rationalism of Lutheran orthodoxy with a personal, experience-oriented faith and commitment.
During his years of teaching the New Testament, Dr. Waetjen struggled to develop a hermeneutics of interpretation that combined the scientific criticisms of objective analysis with the subjective disclosure of a priori understanding that human beings have and use in everyday speech exchanges. It is the understanding that exists prior to the understanding that is achieved by objective a posteriori analysis. Herman’s Hermeneutics is an endeavor to offer illustrations of these correlated subjective and objective understandings of the biblical text that disclose its richness and its relevance for today.
On October 11, 2018, Dr. Waetjen joined us for Alumni Weekend, and presented a fascinating seminar called "The Pioneering Vision of the J Strand and the New Testament."