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Poetry and ApocalypseTheological Disclosures of Poetic Language$
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William Franke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759106

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759106.001.0001

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On the Possibility of a Poetics of Revelation Today: From Apocalyptic Theology to Postmodern Negative Theology

On the Possibility of a Poetics of Revelation Today: From Apocalyptic Theology to Postmodern Negative Theology

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter IV On the Possibility of a Poetics of Revelation Today: From Apocalyptic Theology to Postmodern Negative Theology
Source:
Poetry and Apocalypse
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804759106.003.0004

This chapter addresses the question of poetry as theological revelation by examining the overall theology, and specifically the Joycean interpretations, of Thomas J. J. Altizer, who offers an explicitly, programmatically theological reading of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake that insists on the genuinely theological character of these works. According to this reading, Christian revelation is consummated in Christian epic literature, of which Joyce's epic novels are the culmination. The chapter draws upon these premises in working toward an understanding of theological revelation in literature that is different from Altizer's. This is a difference in view as to what theology and literature reveal: in the end, it is a difference in view about theological as well as poetic truth.

Keywords:   Thomas Altizer, theological reading, Christian revelation, Christian epic literature, poetic truth, theology, Joyce

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