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New Testament and modern parables: their relationship and literary character a reader's response

Harman, Theodore Allan (1990) New Testament and modern parables: their relationship and literary character a reader's response. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Intellectual integrity is the coming together of understanding derived from experience and critical skills available through scholarship. The parable evokes reflection in order to stimulate self-assessment and effect the saving experience of a radical change. Jewish scholars have found ways to mine the rich diversity of meaning in their scriptures; for interpretation allegorizing was one method used. This was later taken over by Christian theologians to interpret parables. In modern times literary criticism has attempted to divine an author's intended meaning. But more recently critics have questioned whether those intentions can be known with any certainty. To appropriate a parable the reader needs to integrate in his thinking the elements of which it is composed. Furthermore in the Gospels the saving works of Jesus and the parables interpret each other. Thus the parable needs to be considered in relation to the body of the writings of which it is a part. By the mental associations evoked by a parable, by the questions put to it, and by a required paradigm shift there can be a stimulus to new perceptions. It is not only the intellect but also the intuitions of the heart that enable perception. Two modern exponents of the parable are Kafka and Borges. According to Kafka, the reader is the problematic element in the appropriation of a parable. Essential to Borges's thought is the multiplicity of meanings in a literary text. For a life-enhancing encounter with the parable, the "artist-child" and the critic in the reader need to work in a harmonious balance.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:03

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