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By Douglas A. Templeton / T&T Clark / 1999
An original, provocative and thoughtful series of readings of New Testament and extra-biblical texts. Making forays into literary criticism, philosophy and theology, Templeton draws upon a rich diversity of sources. These include Lowth, de Welte, Strauss, Bultmann, Wittgenstein, Kermode, Collingwood and especially the Scottish theologian Gregor Smith. Templeton proposes that we read the New Testament not as history (true or false) – in what is still the dominant hermeneutic – but rather as “true fiction.” What does it mean for fiction to be true? Underlying all of this is the problem of the relation between fact and imagination – the question of reality. With wit and erudition, Templeton offers his own answers to such question as he reads afresh Mark, John and Paul, and the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Wallace Stevens.
Douglas Templeton was Senior Lecturer in the Department of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh until his retirement in 2000.