With the tools of far-reaching revolutions in literary theory and informed by the poetic sense of truth, William Franke offers a critical appreciation and philosophical reflection on a way of reading the Bible as theological revelation. Franke explores some of the principal literary genres of the Bible--Myth, Epic History, Prophecy, Apocalyptic, Writings, and Gospel--as building upon one another in composing a compactly unified edifice of writing that discloses prophetic and apocalyptic truth in a sense that is intelligible to the secular mind as well as to religious spirits. From Genesis to Gospel this revealed truth of the Bible is discovered as a universal heritage of humankind. Poetic literature becomes the light of revelation for a theology that is discerned as already inherent in humanity's tradition. The divine speaks directly to the human heart by means of infinitely open poetic powers of expression in words exceeding and released from the control of finite, human faculties and the authority of human institutions.
""Well known for his distinguished work on mysticism and the apophatic, in this new monograph William Franke offers a remarkable development in the field of literature and theology. Building on the foundations laid by earlier scholars in both biblical studies and literature, Franke examines different genres in both testaments, from myth, epic, the prophetic, the apocalyptic, and the gospel, to offer a biblical theology that is inherent within the text rather than imposed externally upon it. It is a brilliant example of what Paul Ricoeur once called thinking biblically, and will be a profoundly important book for anyone within the humanities as well as theologians, liturgists, and biblical critics.""
--David Jasper, University of Glasgow
""William Franke's book demonstrates the variegated way in which the Bible provides 'a model for humanities texts.' Not only does he rightly seek to relate the reading of the Bible to other texts in the humanities, but also underlines the fundamental importance which the Bible has had in its contribution to hermeneutics. Historical contextuality, and the way which texts are a means of self-reflection, have been part and parcel of engagement with the Bible down the centuries and are all too easily ignored in modern biblical scholarship.""
--Christopher Rowland, University of Oxford
""This is a brilliant new book by one of the world's most accomplished scholars in the area of literature and theology. Offering a lucid and compelling account of the nature of revelation, Franke reads a range of biblical texts in ways that are simultaneously thought provoking, illuminating, readable, and constructive. A Theology of Literature is a wonderful achievement, and certainly worth reading.""
--Mark Knight, Lancaster University
William Franke is a philosopher of the humanities and a professor of comparative literature at Vanderbilt University. He has also been Professor of Philosophy at the University of Macao (2013-2016); Fulbright-University of Salzburg Distinguished Chair in Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religion; and an Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung research fellow. His single-authored books have been published by the university presses of Chicago, Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Ohio State, and the State University of New York.