Reader-Response Theory of Hermeneutics: A postmodern form of literary criticism that explores the capacity of the biblical texts to shape, revise or confirm the expectations readers bring to their reading of the text. This approach challenges the assumption of much of modern hermeneutics that the main task of exegesis is to approach the text as a disinterested exegete and to determine, through the use of scientific strategies of interpretation, the intent of the original author of the text. Reader-response theorists, in contrast, maintain that the reader and the text are interdependent. What is important then is not so much the intent of the original author of the text but the “conversation” between reader and text that emerges in the reading of the text.1
1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 99.