Journal Article

THE MARGIN IS THE MESSAGE: COMMENTARY'S DISPLACEMENT OF CANON

Christopher Burdon

in Literature and Theology

Volume 13, issue 3, pages 222-234
Published in print September 1999 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online September 1999 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/13.3.222
THE MARGIN IS THE MESSAGE: COMMENTARY'S DISPLACEMENT OF CANON

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A canonical text is traditionally seen as authontative and sacred, with any commentary on it a subsidiary or explanatory exercise. But the style and page design of official commentaries suggest that they wrest to themselves the authority supposedly belonging to the canon Examples are given from both Jewish and Christian commentary from the fourth to the twentieth century Contrasts are drawn with looser modes of reading such as lectio divina and liberationist use of the Bible while these generally eschew commentary and are less concerned with scriptural authonty, it appears that in practice they endow the text itself with greater transformative power.

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

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