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Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity$
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John David Dawson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520226302

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520226302.001.0001

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The Literal Sense and Personal Identity: Hans Frei

The Literal Sense and Personal Identity: Hans Frei

(p.140) (p.141) Chapter 7 The Literal Sense and Personal Identity: Hans Frei
Christian Figural Reading and the Fashioning of Identity

John David Dawson

University of California Press

This chapter explores Hans Frei's overall claim that a Christian figural reading of the Bible narratively extends, rather than effaces, its realistic and literal sense. The discussion begins with a study of Frei's argument that figural extension of the literal meaning of the Bible leads to its intensification instead of its supersession. Throughout the chapter, Frei references Erich Auerbach's conception of figural reading, and even improves Auerbach's nonsubstantial or relational conception of spiritual understanding.

Keywords:   Hans Frei, figural reading, figural extension, literal meaning, Bible, Erich Auerbach, spiritual understanding

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