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Goltigami Thanks for telling us about the problem. Rituals of the Way: This book is dense!!! Sorlasair rated it it was amazing Jun 05, Chp1 is all about what a myth is in general and then how that definnition applies to Chinese myths. Chinese Mythology: An Introduction — Anne Birrell — Google Books Drawing on exhaustive work in comparative mythology, she surveys the development of Chinese myth studies, summarizes the contribution of Chinese and Japanese scholars to the study of Chinese myth since the s, and examines special aspects of traditional approaches to Chinese myth. To ask other readers questions about Chinese Mythologyplease sign up. Jarrod Diamond-esque except not biology.

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Today we expect the meaning of a passage, from a novel or a newspaper, to be immediately obvious. A text is normally understood to have a single meaning, and that meaning should be evident at first glance. If it is not, we attribute the obscurity to bad writing. To the ancients, however, significant texts contain multiple layers of meaning. Cynics and Stoics, for example, used what came to be called the allegorical method in order to interpret the epic poems of Homer or the didactic poetry of Hesiod.

This is a method that looks for a hyponoia , a hidden meaning under or behind the obvious connotations of the words of the text. The result was to transform the historical perspective of the Old Testament into a timeless or transcendent vision of the quest for virtue undertaken by the human soul.

To early Christians, the Bible is the ultimate expression of the Word of God. Yet the Word, the Person of the eternal Logos, is not limited to the canonical text, but reveals himself within the entire liturgical-sacramental life of the Church.

To convey this revelation, Jesus employed a variety of tropes, or figures of speech, in his parables and in other forms of teaching. These included occasional uses of allegory as well as metaphor and simile.

Jn , the image of the shepherds of Israel Ezek 34; cf. Jn , and the figure of the Bridegroom from the Song of Songs cf. In the Synoptic Gospels Jesus is depicted as having frequent recourse to allegory. The apostle Paul employed allegory in his parallelism between Adam and Christ Rom 5; 1 Cor 15 , as well as in three key passages of his first letter to the Corinthians. Even the image of Christ as the Paschal Lamb represents a form of allegory.

In 1 Cor , Paul allegorizes the Torah, insisting that the worker deserves his wages as the ox deserves the fruits of its labor Dt Heb 7 serves as a figure, a prophetic image, of Christ the High Priest. From the Epistles through the Gospels, the New Testament thus provides a firm foundation for the development in the post-apostolic period of various allegorical approaches to biblical interpretation.

That development has been the subject of a vast number of studies and their conclusions need not be repeated here.

Christ, Rom A type typos may be defined as a prophetic image — an event, person, institution or ritual — that points forward to and is fulfilled by a future eschatological reality. That image foreshadows the future antitype, which in turn fulfills it and thereby establishes the essential unity between the Old and New Testaments. In the next section we shall see that this familiar understanding of typological relationships is in need of major revision. For the moment, keeping in mind the generally accepted notion of a linear movement from past to future, from the type to its fulfillment in the antitype, we should recall the way typology has usually been compared and contrasted with allegory, so as to see in them two divergent and basically incompatible exegetical methods.

It has become a commonplace that the Antiochene school, under the leadership of Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopusestia, Theodoret of Cyrus and, less directly, St John Chrysostom, arose and sustained itself primarily in opposition to the allegorizing tendencies of the Alexandrian school, represented especially by Clement, Origen, Didymus the Blind and, later, St Cyril.

The chief differences between the two schools may be schematically noted as follows. In terms of hermeneutical method, Alexandria is seen as the home of allegory and Antioch the home of typology.

For the former, a fuller, higher or more spiritual meaning is to be discerned in the words of a text, often regarded as symbols or elements of a code to be deciphered. As a result, the historical grounding of a given passage could be ignored or at least relegated to a position of secondary importance.

If we speak of two basic meanings in Scripture, the literal usually identified with the historical sense and the spiritual, Alexandrian exegetes clearly gave priority to the latter, often at the expense of the historical meaning. They drew on typology as a way of affirming the presence in history of particular correspondences between a type and its antitype, between Promise and Fulfillment. Their concern to preserve the historical reality of biblical revelation came in large measure as a reaction to the a-historical, symbolic and mystical reading of Scripture favored at Alexandria.

Typology, on the other hand, is concerned to root all meaning in history , discovering the higher sense of Scripture in the actual correspondences that exist between type and antitype.

Theoria for the Alexandrians seeks ultimate meaning in transcendent reality and therefore focuses on a spiritual or mystical reading of the biblical text. For the Antiochenes, however, theoria perceives in the historical event itself a double sense Diodore , both literal and spiritual. Thereby it preserves the historical framework of revelation, gives full value to the incarnation of the Word of God over against perceived monophysite tendencies in Alexandrian christology , and assures the coherence and integrity of the biblical text.

The question is, is this view of the matter correct? To this point we have noted two presuppositions that characterize a great deal of opinion concerning the relation between typology and allegory as approaches to biblical interpretation. The first holds that typology is essentially linear and unidirectional, moving through history from the past type to the future antitype. A type is conceived as a sign that points forward to a higher, deeper, more spiritual reality. Since Promise and Fulfillment are separated by time, they can only be interpreted diachronically, in a movement that leads the exegete from the historical phenomenon to the future and ontologically disconnected eschatological antitype.

The second presupposition sees typology and allegory as representing two different world-views, such that as exegetical methods they are basically incompatible, even contradictory. Whereas typology respects the historical grounding of the type-antitype relationship, allegory tends to ignore that grounding by locating the true meaning of a biblical passage not in historical events, but on a transcendent plane of being, as well as in the moral and spiritual life of the believer.

Revelation occurs less through historical event than through the words of a text, which are taken to be a code that needs to be broken in order to discover the higher, fuller sense of the passage. While there is a certain truth to both of these depictions, they need to be revised in significant ways. The first point to make is that the type-antitype relationship is neither strictly linear nor unidirectional.

To the ancients, particularly in the Greek world, history comprises something of a double movement: linear, from past to future, yet also circular, in a pattern of recapitulation. This is true, to a limited extent, even in Hebrew thought. Typology needs to be understood in this same double perspective, since this is the perspective of Scripture itself. The rock is not said to be a sign, a type or a symbol; it is the reality itself. The type, in other words, participates directly in the antitype, and it does so not only in the historical framework of past to future.

The typological relationship is double: from past to future, but also from future to past. If early Christians could find theophanies of Christ throughout the Old Testament, it is because the eternal Word of God was present and active in creation itself Jn ; Col ; Heb and in the life of the people of Israel.

This view, of course, was not universally accepted. Another perspective is provided by Diodore of Tarsus. The antitype or future fulfillment, is already present and active within the type. The movement inherent in typology, then, is not merely unidirectional, from past to future.

It is bi-directional, insofar as there is between type and antitype a relationship of mutual participation. This insight, however, is proper not only to Diodore. The Cappadocians and many others Ephrem of Syria, for example, in his Hymns on Paradise were equally aware of the interrelationship that exists between type and antitype, and of the proleptic presence of the antitype in the type.

The word typos , from the verb typtein , signifies a mark left by a blow. By extension, it can signify a seal, an impression made in wax, a pattern or a model. This, however, does not necessarily imply forward historical movement. Like Diodore, who finds a double meaning in historical events and other types, Young has led us to discover or rediscover the presence of the antitype in the type: the spiritual sense is present in and through the literal sense.

The type retains its value as a reality in its own right; but it is also an icon , an image of a future fulfillment that is already present within it. Between type and antitype, there is reciprocity, mutual indwelling of one in the other, independent of time. The diachronic, historical approach to typology, which finds a temporal separation between type and antitype, needs to give way to another approach based on another perspective.

That perspective — which incorporates a particular world-view more typical of the Fathers than of our contemporaries — easily perceives transcendent reality within the sphere of time and space, within human history. It perceives as well the profound unity that exists between the two Testaments, a unity grounded not only in the forward movement from prophecy to fulfillment, but a unity derived from the actual presence of eternal reality within the events of human history.

Modern literary criticism sees in the Bible, as in any significant text, a self-referential quality. Ancient literature, in particular, can be interpreted by cross-referencing, thanks to its quality of intertextuality. This is expressed by the hermeneutic principle of exegetical reciprocity. Because Scripture is understood to be uniformly and integrally inspired by the Holy Spirit 2 Tim ; cf.

This principle, abhorrent to present-day exegetes who tend to stress the differences and incompatibilities between biblical writings and between various layers of tradition within a single writing , was nonetheless fundamental to the perspective of the Church Fathers. Given recent advances in understanding the way texts function, including the insights of narrative and reader-response criticism, it is a principle that would be well worth recovering.

What does this mean with regard to allegory and allegorical method? And is allegorical interpretation in any way compatible with historical criticism and other recently developed hermeneutic approaches?

This implies, furthermore, that we need to reassess the relationship between typology and allegory, and see allegory as a mode of expression that incorporates typology in its quest for the higher, spiritual sense of a biblical passage. The commonplace: allegory investigates words while typology investigates historical events, needs to be discarded. As Young, Louth and others have recently shown, allegory and typology both aim to achieve a theoria of ultimate reality and ultimate meaning.

Allegory can perhaps best be described as a contemplative mode of investigation that interprets typological relationships in its search for meaning. For allegory depends on a type-antitype relationship even in cases where the meaning sought is moral tropological or eschatological anagogical. It searches the depths of Scriptural passages with the aim of discovering divine presence within the world and within human experience, as that presence manifests itself through a chain or sequence akolouthia of events.

Just as persons cannot exist as autonomous individuals without sacrificing an essential quality of their being, so words can have no meaning as autonomous units. The correspondence Ford draws between picture and meaning on the one hand, and the hypostatic union in Christ on the other, is especially helpful for our attempt to reassess and finally restore allegory as a legitimate, and indeed essential feature of biblical interpretation.

A similar correspondence may be said to exist between type and antitype. The type corresponds to the picture and the antitype to the meaning.

The insight of Diodore remains valid: the type contains a single meaning, but that meaning is double , both literal and spiritual, both historical and eschatological. This is because the antitype is proleptically realized in the type itself. Post-modern approaches to literary analysis, moreover, have vastly broadened our knowledge and appreciation of how texts speak, of how stories function. From narrative criticism to rhetorical analysis the role of parallelism and chiasmus in Scripture, for example , the efforts of biblical scholars in recent years have offered precious new insights into the way Scripture embodies and conveys meaning.

An essential complement to these interpretive tools, however, is a renewed understanding and appreciation of the importance of allegory, and specifically a typological allegory that avoids fantasy, yet enables the reader to discern, behind the letter of the text, the power and authority of the Word which that text enshrines.

This implies, however, that modern critics need to reassess their own perspective on reality. They need to adopt, in fact, a different world-view, one that incorporates the basic perspective of antiquity, and specifically of the Church Fathers. Certainly, as in cases we have noted, allegory can be grossly misused. Used properly, however, an allegorical approach is indispensable for making Scripture relevant to believers in every new generation. It reveals, through the Scriptural text itself, divine presence and activity within the mundane affairs of our daily existence.

And in the best of cases it provides us with the moral and spiritual guidance that leads to eternal communion with God.

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Today we expect the meaning of a passage, from a novel or a newspaper, to be immediately obvious. A text is normally understood to have a single meaning, and that meaning should be evident at first glance. If it is not, we attribute the obscurity to bad writing. To the ancients, however, significant texts contain multiple layers of meaning. Cynics and Stoics, for example, used what came to be called the allegorical method in order to interpret the epic poems of Homer or the didactic poetry of Hesiod. This is a method that looks for a hyponoia , a hidden meaning under or behind the obvious connotations of the words of the text.

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The first point to make is that the type-antitype relationship is neither strictly linear nor unidirectional. Today we expect the meaning of a passage, from a novel or a newspaper, to be immediately obvious. These included occasional uses of allegory as well as metaphor and simile. Yet the Word, the Person of the eternal Logos, is not limited brexk the canonical text, but reveals himself within the entire cyvantului life of the Church. The diachronic, historical approach to typology, which finds a temporal separation between type and antitype, needs cyvantului give way to another approach based on another perspective. The type corresponds to the picture and the antitype to the meaning.

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