Journal Article

THE ONTOTHEOLOGY OF THE LITERARY AESTHETIC: HISTORICAL AND SYSTEMATIC ASPECTS

Philipp Wolf

in Literature and Theology

Volume 12, issue 3, pages 294-304
Published in print September 1998 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 1998 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/12.3.294
THE ONTOTHEOLOGY OF THE LITERARY AESTHETIC: HISTORICAL AND SYSTEMATIC ASPECTS

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In spite of Deconstruction or New Historicism there have been number of efforts in Eighties and Nineties to re-establish a metaphysics or even religion of the literary work of art. This article proposes to carry some of the historical and structural preconditions of these attempts. For this purpose the ‘Onteotheology’ of literature is tracked back to the aesthetic rhetorization of religious language following the protestant abolition of those ritual practices during the Reformation which hiherto had ensured God's substantial and Real Presence in the world. Starting out from sidney's poetics, the article then focuses on the formal features of literature which may have been able to compensate for the growing modern consciuosness of the contingency of the extraneous reference God and therefore, the world itself. These are above all, as can be shown, self-reference energeia, ‘substantially’ and the spacio-temporal closure of form Furthermore the paper briefly discusses the concept of ‘otherness’ and concludes with a short speculation on the possibility of theology on the postmodern age of difference.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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