Literary Theory Essays

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Specifically, I will focus on one post-structuralist critical theory, reader-response criticism as exemplified in the work of Stanley Fish.

In the second chapter I will attempt to sketch the rise of modernism from the perspective of the history of ideas with special attention given to the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein as it relates to Fish.

To introduce the ideas of modernism as an influence on academia is to introduce a host of difficulties which are only exaggerated by the term post-modernism.

The factors that have brought about what we call modernism are legion and cannot be attributed solely to either a change in philosophical thought or in sociological "development." There is a reciprocal relationship between these two phenomena.

And both are necessary in order to understand the current situation.

In the first chapter of this paper I will deal with the changes that have occurred in what is broadly referred to as literary theory, and more specifically with changes in the field of hermeneutics as it is this discipline that has most profoundly influenced literary theory recently.

Post-modernism is in many ways, though not exclusively, a reaction against modernism.

Post-modernism is characterized first by a rejection of foundational truth or ontological essentialism.

In as much as literary theory is a reflection of modern thought, not to mention its implications for biblical criticism, it is worth endeavoring to understand it.

Another way to answer the original question is from a purely pragmatic viewpoint, as Kevin Vanhoozer has said, "For better or for worse, every form of literary criticism eventually finds at least one biblical exegete who is willing to be its champion." These words have shown true time and again. Post-structuralist theories such as reader-response theory and Deconstructionism have been gaining in popularity in biblical circles and it is these same post-modern theories that represent the greatest challenge to a grammatical-historical understanding of the text.

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