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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: July ::
Re: Shakespeare as Bible
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1351  Wednesday, 5 July 2000.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Jul 2000 16:25:08 +0100
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Bible

[2]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 04 Jul 2000 12:31:20 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1335 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[3]     From:   Ian Munro <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 4 Jul 2000 14:28:00 -0600 (MDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1335 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

[4]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Jul 2000 11:13:30 +1000
        Subj:   Shakespeare as Bible


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Tuesday, 4 Jul 2000 16:25:08 +0100
Subject:        Shakespeare as Bible

Carol Barton writes

>Shakespeare says something fundamental about the
>human condition, about all humans in all conditions
>(at least in civilized societies) that helps us recognize
>and come to terms with who we are, individually and
>collectively -- all the world's a stage, and what fools
>we mortals be.

Don't forget the classic insights 'neither a borrower nor a lender be'
and 'the course of true love never did run smooth'.

I'm a little troubled by the "civilized societies" bit, though Carol.
Exposing children (WT), wifebeating (SHR), patricide (LR), attempted
rape (TGV), incest (PER), infanticide (MAC), and animal abuse (JC)--what
on earth do the uncivilized get up to?

Gabriel Egan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Tuesday, 04 Jul 2000 12:31:20 -0700
Subject: 11.1335 Re: Shakespeare as Bible
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1335 Re: Shakespeare as Bible

Clifford pontificates:

>But this is a patent falsehood.  There are two theories of 'authorship'
>attached to the Bible: God wrote it (in which case, some consistent
>philosophy is assumed); or many hands were involved.  According to the
>latter view, held by most intelligent adults, over the course of perhaps
>800 years, some were arguing for the divine right of the Davidic
>dynasty, some for a future personal messiah, some for adherence to the
>letter of the law, some for abandonment of the letter in favor of the
>spirit.

Actually pretty much every thinker in the last two thousand years has
found some third possibility, and avoided falling into what you describe
in terms of a strict binary between fundamentalists and historicists. I
floated one possibility, that espoused by Karl Barth, on the list a few
days ago. Since then, I've stumbled on a reminder of Martin Luther's
strongly Christocentric hermeneutic, and one might add (say) Rudolf
Bultmann's attempts to separate historical levels of the synoptic
gospels, not in order to say that it's all history, but in order to
demythologize the true kerygma.  You should really get to a library some
time.

In any case, I'm pretty much certain that Ian was not espousing a
fundamentalist position, merely indicating that the particular credit
which believers give to Biblical texts, the urgency of their exegesis,
does not have quite the same purchase on non-Biblical texts.  If,
however, Biblical analysis just ends with literalism, then no exegesis
as such is necessary at all.

Cheers,
Se

 

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