Hermeneutical competence – a contribution from the Netherlands to the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria with reference to my honorary doctorate, conferred on 18 April 2008 by this University. From metaphysics to hermeneutics: in this way one could describe the turn which took place in Western culture on account of the growth of modernity, ever since the Enlightenment. This philosophical expression also touches on religion, and especially theology. To use the words of the philosopher Gianni Vattimo (2006:49), we live in "het tijdperk van de interpretatie" (the age of interpretation). Against this background, it is not a strange thing that hermeneutical competence is generally judged to be the primary skill of the minister. In this article, I aim to set down my views on the far-reaching consequences which the choice of hermeneutical competence as primary skill entails. This I will do by way of the question: If one chooses theology and ministry, how does one become hermeneutically competent?