By Paul S. Fiddes
Writers of novels, performs, and poems use their imaginations with obvious freedom; against this, makers of Christian doctrine appear to impose limits, decreasing the open-ended which means of pictures to particular suggestions and summing up the unfastened ends of news in a single unified tale. however the writer of this learn units out to teach how photographs and tales in literature can really support the theologian to make doctrinal statements, whereas while cautious theological considering can help the severe examining of literary texts.
"In this fantastically written and argued paintings, theologian Fiddes asserts that the interpreting of literature can reduction theologians in doing theologyspecifically, in constructing doctrinal statements. Conversely, theologians promises invaluable serious instruments for "hearing" the theology embedded in literature. Fiddes’ observations are a worthwhile reduction for pondering via tips on how to open a discussion among theology and people’s culturally-conditioned perspectives in their lives, among the authority of Scripture and the occasions of current background, the place God continues to be authoring God’s tale inside ours." —Wendy Wirth-Brock, Trinity Seminary evaluation, Fall/Winter 2000-2001
"His readings testify eloquently to the ability of literature as a method of theological mirrored image. an invaluable textual content for a person, scholar or school, learning the relation among faith and literature."—John A. McClure, Rutgers collage, in spiritual stories evaluation, January 2001
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Extra resources for Freedom and Limit: A Dialogue between Literature and Christian Doctrine
S. Lewis has called 'the oblique approach', 21 leaving the reader to infer the connection with Christian story and symbol for himself, rather than thrusting it at him. One vehicle for the oblique method is to use other mythologies than the Christian story, so that we suddenly see new dimensions in each through the other. In his poem Coleridge draws upon half-remembered stories of ghost-ships and mutinies at sea to suggest the picture of a mutineer against God and the ghostly experience of guilt, 'alone on a wide, wide sea'.
Why should the experience of guilt be described as falling into the power of the nightmare 'life in death', who 'thicks men's blood with cold', sailing by on a skeleton ship? Who is the 'Polar Spirit' who 'loved the bird that loved the man/Who shot him with his bow', and who demands vengeance? Why should the experience of God's grace be described as the dancing of shining watersnakes upon the surface of the sea? These symbols are not allegories of a simple pre-existing meaning. In exploring the human psychology of guilt, the poet is allowing his imagination to reach out towards a mystery with the use of symbols, and these interact in an unpredictable way with the basic doctrinal idea of the voyage of a fallen soul away from the grace of God and back again.
24 The judgements a theologian makes are therefore bound to be influenced by being drawn into a text where dialogue is already going on. HOLY SCRIPTURE AND THE DIALOGUE The Christian scriptures of Old and New Testament hold a peculiar place within the dialogue I have been describing. On the one hand they lie at the foundation of the doctrinal tradition with which the Christian writer or critic comes into dialogue. But on the other hand they provide a wide range of examples of the dialogue, since the biblical writers are themselves in creative tension with the religious traditions of the communities to which they belong.
Freedom and Limit: A Dialogue between Literature and Christian Doctrine by Paul S. Fiddes