Reply To: Allegory vs symbolism

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Martin Detwiler

@ethryndal @kate Right?! Truth truly is stranger than fiction.

You’re exactly right in interpreting what I wrote. Just so you know, the part that tripped you up also makes me pause for a few seconds. It seems so counter-intuitive. But as we think further, it becomes clear that symbolic elements/themes about God/salvation/Messiah can be embedded in our stories in such a way that they are not “present” in the surface details of the story, but still inform and undergird its interpretation to a very high degree.

I appreciate your explanation of allegory and symbolism! It was very helpful to me that you introduced the idea of a spectrum. I think that explains the nuances we see in stories much more coherently – as you showed in the examples you mentioned.

I would love to get your opinion on Lewis’ book Til We Have Faces. It is one of the most moving, powerful books that I have ever read (definitely Lewis’ best work, in my opinion). The main reason I bring it up, though, is because of how it approaches this subject. The story is the retelling of a Greek myth, but Lewis made it so much more than that by introducing symbolic elements to the story which end up making it confront very Christian ideas in a powerful way. I know we all have very little time for reading, but I think a thoughtful journey through that book would help as you ponder how to approach this topic in your new series. At the very least, it’s a great story that deserves much more recognition that it gets. Definitely worlds beyond The Chronicles of Narnia, as much as I love those stories.

myths don't die

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