Feb 27, 2004

Allegorists, literalists and structuralists - reducing to the crackerjack prize
My problem with the alagorists isn't that they over interpret or ignore the plain meaning but that they, like the literalists, attempt a full scale reduction.

There is a way in which literalists and fundamentalists fall to the same criticism of reductionism. Whether "the flood" means something literal or "the flood" means something allegorical, the two schools agree the story isn't all that important if you can get at what it means.

Both schools would have to discard the story, eventually, if they were too successful. Boil the story until we have what remains, what we wanted, what it means. Because the story isn't what they're interested in, it's the meaning the story bears on its back.

Structuralism, I think it could be argued, was closely aligned with a world built on reading the bible for the meaning inside.