Journal Article

Primordial Sacrifice, Typology and the Theological Vocation of Literature: Extending Gian Balsamo's Interpretation of Joyce and Christian Epic

William Franke

in Literature and Theology

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 251-268
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2006 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frl029
Primordial Sacrifice, Typology and the Theological Vocation of Literature: Extending Gian Balsamo's Interpretation of Joyce and Christian Epic

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Extending the new contribution to the Joyce scholarship offered by Gian Balsamo, this essay develops a typological perspective upon literature as a ritualistic repetition of primordial sacrifice. It traces this function of literature from Dante through the Christian epic to Joyce. Poetry, viewed in this perspective, envisions and expresses what makes a culture possible as a whole and from its deepest roots. Such theologically laden types as sacrifice and eucharistic celebration reveal western culture in its development from both Greek and Hebrew antiquity to its ultramodern apotheosis in Joyce as one ongoing negotiation with itself. Culture is a continual reworking and revisioning of traditionary types that run from the beginning to the end of the history—and back again—becoming the overarching metaphors that connect everything in the universe of human experience together.

Journal Article.  7821 words. 

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

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