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Kristusprincipen. Om litteraturtolkning och trons retorik
2014 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 135, 129-162 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Magnus Ullén, Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies, Karlstad University

The Figure of Christ: Literary Interpretation and the Rhetoric of Faith (Kristusprincipen. Om litteraturtolkning och trons retorik)

The article provides a detailed discussion of French theologian Henri de Lubac’s account of medieval exegesis. It considers in particular the function of Christ in the medieval fourfold system of interpretation, arguing that Christ — or christos — amounts to a metaleptic trope which grounds the system of faith upon which medieval exegesis is built. For the believer, it is through Christ that the ideological dimension of the Bible is realized: it is through the believer’s faith that christos constitutes a value inherent in the sacred text that this text enters historical reality, as it were, in the form of the acts and discursive practice of the believer. This way of entering into the Biblical text in many ways resembles the way readers of literary texts more generally can be said to enter into the texts they engage with. While the fourfold method of exegesis eventually fell out of fashion, the article suggests that its principal categories – the allegorical, the tropological, and the anagogical — did not disappear but rather were transformed into an alternative set of categories, namely the philological, the aesthetic, and the ideological. Neither was the rhetorical office of christos as a trope abandoned; rather, it took on a more secular shape, first in the form of the self, and then — under the influence of increasingly materialist modes of thinking — in the form of the text. Even so, literary interpretation even today remains liable to give in to the idealizing force of christos, as witnessed by the tendency to read texts as reflecting the identities of writers and readers, rather than the letter in all its situational contingency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2014. Vol. 135, 129-162 p.
Keyword [en]
allegory, theology, rhetoric, faith, hermeneutics
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-247188OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-247188DiVA: diva2:795205
Available from: 2015-03-15 Created: 2015-03-15

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