CHRIST FIGURES IN LITERATURE
How to Read Literature like a Professor: Chapter 14
- Importance of Knowing about Various Religions
- Impacts Religion has on Literature
- Christianity in Literature
- Christ Figures
Chapter 14: "Yes, She's a Christ Figure, Too"
Learning about Other Cultures' Religions
- Shows the reader deeper meanings in literature
- Reveals reasons for an author's choice in text
- Example: In Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane, knowing about South African beliefs prior to reading the book helped students understand reasons behind character actions.
Various Religious Impacts on Literature
- Even if an author is not meaning to be influenced by regional beliefs, religion is so prominent in society the author most likely is.
- Character choices, actions, or underlying morals are most likely influenced by religion.
- The influence of religion on literature gives readers a common ground with the text
Specifically, Christianity in Literature
- Many authors from America and Europe are influenced by Christianity and the Bible
- Many pieces of literature portray "Christ Figures"
- These figures are characters in a text that resembles Jesus Christ, or a part of him
- Example: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Christ Figure Indicators
- "Crucified, wounds on hands feet, or sides
- In agony
- Good with children
- Good with loves, fish, water, wine
- In his 30's
- A wood worker
- Has humble modes of transportation
- Walked on water
- Portrayed with arms outstretched
- Spent time in the wilderness
- Tempted by the Devil
- Last seen in company of thieves
- Creator of many aphorisms and parables
- Buried, but arose
- Had followers
- Redeemed world" (Foster 65-6)
- Importance of knowledge of different religions: gives insight to reasons and deeper meanings
- Religious impacts on literature: creates underlying morals, and reasons behind author's choices for chacter thoughts, actions, etc.
- Christianity in literature: Plots, and Christian qualities used in texts
- Christ Figures: Key indicators of Christ figures, but character does not have to embody Christ in all ways
Learning Strategy: Opinionnaire
- Get in groups and read excerpt provided.
- Discuss reading and compare it to the following concepts we learned, specifically the role of Christianity and Christ figures.
- Look back at original opinionnaire you filled out, and change your answers if necessary.
- Discuss with your group the reasoning behind your final answers.
Foster, Thomas C. How to Read Literature like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading between the Lines. New York: Quill, 2003. Print.
"How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines (Paperback)." Http://www.bookdepository.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
"Jesus Christ - Jesus of Nazareth - Son of God." Jesus Christ - Jesus of Nazareth - Son of God. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
"Kaffir Boy By Mark Mathabane." Today's Featured Discussions. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
"Religion and Literature." Religion and Literature. Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 4 June 2006. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.