Phenomenology Online

A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry

Macro-thematic Reflection

In the wholistic reading approach we attend to the text as a whole.


Expressing the fundamental or overall meaning of a text is an interpretive act. Different readers may discern different thematic meanings. And no one interpretation is ever necessarily more “true” than another. But there is much possibility here to err or to see meaning that is idiosyncratic. As we read over a text we ask: “How does this text speak to the meaning of the phenomenon under investigation?” “What sententious phrase may capture the fundamental meaning or main significance of the text as a whole?” We can then try to express that meaning by formulating such a phrase.