Journal Article

Biblical Exegesis in Thomas Hardy’s <i>The Mayor of Casterbridge</i>

Alison Fisch Katz

in Literature and Theology

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 179-198
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI:
Biblical Exegesis in Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge

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Few commentators are willing to concede to a view of the late-Victorian novelist and poet Thomas Hardy as a profoundly Christian writer. Most often he is regarded as atheistic in principle, a view which tends to subdue those voices that would describe his religious allegiance in far less axiomatic terms. I suggest that Hardy’s schooling in the interpretive activity of biblical exegesis absorbed from his early religious education resonates in his writings. In particular, my reading of The Mayor of Casterbridge argues for a text that applies ‘covenantal hermeneutics’, an interpretive activity essential to its inner workings, which functions to produce a novel that is Hebraic rather than Hellenic in character.

Journal Article.  9018 words.  Illustrated.

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

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