Tag Archives: Bible

Lit Interpretation Related to Bible Reading

Literary “close reading” can be traced back, in part, to Talmudic study of the Torah. That helps explain the significance I attach to literary interpretation.

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The Bible, As True as Literature

In “Inspired,” Rachel Held Evans demonstrates how the Bible is true because it functions as literature.

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C. S. Lewis: Literature as Theology

Spiritual Sunday I write today about a fascinating talk I heard in our church’s Adult Forum this past Sunday. Dr. Rob MacSwain, editor of The Cambridge Companion to C. S. Lewis, talked about Lewis’s special contribution to our understanding of God and Christianity. MacSwain, who teaches “Theology of Ethics” at Sewanee’s School of Theology, opened […]

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The Eternal Doesn’t Want To Be Bent by Us

Rilke draws on the story of Jacob and the Angel in his poem “The Man Watching.” We grow, he writes, by “being defeated, decisively, by constantly greater beings.”

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Emily Dickinson’s “Smart Misery” of Doubt

Emily Dickinson struggled with religious doubt all of her life. Because she desperately wanted to belief, some of her poems show her faith being tested.

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The Simple Creed: Man’s Duty to Man

This poem about the Good Samaritan by Australian working class author Henry Lawson depicts the Samaritan as a figure from the outback.

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Footprints on the Sands of Time

Longfellow’s “Psalm of Life” quotes from today’s Gospel reading–“let the dead bury their own dead”–in ways that help illuminate Jesus’s message.

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The Joads & Steinbeck’s Lenten Message

“The Grapes of Wrath” has a Lenten message with the Joad family lost in the wilderness, led by the Moses/Jesus figure Jim Casy. After Casy is killed, Tom Joad becomes the apostle who takes his vision of a transcendent humankind to the wider world.

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Mary’s Dangerous Request at Cana

In his poem about the wedding at Cana, Rilke sees Mary as a proud mother who inadvertently pushes her son towards his destiny by asking him to perform a miracle. On reflection, she realizes what she did.

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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