Case 15
The Bible and Literature

“This book [The Great Code] does not say that the Bible is literature: it says that it is literary, that it has literary qualities.”

Northrop Frye’s Notebooks and Lectures on the Bible and Other Religious Texts.
Robert Denham ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003.


“I am not interested in the relation of religion and literature, where there may be any number of “either-or” contrasts and dilemmas – aporias, we knowledgeable people call them – but in the relation of the Bible and Western literature. That is, I’m interested in the Bible specifically, because it’s written in the language of literature, the language of myth, metaphor figured speech, rhetoric, symbol & analogy.  I want to make a few suggestions about what that feature in the Bible has helped to shape in our imaginative culture – I can’t do without “imagination” as my central building block.

Northrop Frye’s Late Notebooks 1982-1990: architects of the spiritual world.
Robert Denham ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.