Reading the Bible Polyphonically

Reading the Bible

polyphonic

monophonic

The Musical Notion of Polyphony

Multiple voices moving in counterpoint or (opposite directions) to each other. Counterpoint creates vitality in a composition

Polyphony in Literature
(M. Bakhtin)
‡ Unfinalized personalities ‡ Plot results from dialogic interaction ‡ Authorial point of view on an equal footing with personalities ‡ Literary time rooted in simultaneity

Polyphony in the Bible
‡ Texts resist finalization ‡ Meaning emerges from dialogic interaction between texts ‡ Various authors that move on equal footing with each other ‡ Time rooted in simultaneity

Examples
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Genesis 1-2 Deuteronomic History / Chronicles History Law, story, poetry, wisdom, historical texts 4 Gospels Various views of afterlife

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