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Karl Popper and Literary Theory

Critical Rationalism as a Philosophy of Literature


Thomas Trzyna

Karl Popper’s philosophy of science, with its focus on falsifiability and critical rationalism, provides a firm foundation for a theory of literary interpretation that avoids the pitfalls of many contemporary theories. Building on the work of Popper, John Eccles, Imre Lakatos, Ernst Gombrich, Louise DeSalvo and James Battersby, this study outlines the approach, sets it in a theoretical context, and applies the theory to challenging works by Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea, Jean Toomer, Shakespeare, Henry Fielding, J-M.G. LeClézio, J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Littell, Patrick Modiano, Albert Schweitzer, Popper’s protégé William Warren Bartley III and the Gospel of Mark. The book concludes with a set of general principles for understanding literature as a mode of investigation in what Popper called the unended quest.
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Un Jésus postmoderne

Les récritures romanesques contemporaines des Évangiles


Bruno Thibault

Un Jésus postmoderne offers a thorough discussion of some forty contemporary French novels depicting the life of Jesus within the framework of today’s debate on fundamentalism and secularism. Focusing on the interplay of narrative viewpoints and (anti)theological perspectives, this study scrutinizes the postmodern representation of Jesus for readers who belong to a time marked by incredulity towards meta-narratives. Drawing on Marcel Gauchet and Julia Kristeva, as well as René Girard’s ‘scapegoat theory’, among many others, this study examines Jesus as a ‘problematic hero’ and a ‘conceptual character’ on the threshold of the new millennium. It shows how these novels reflect recent advances in biblical exegesis, religious anthropology, psychoanalysis and theology.

Un Jésus postmoderne propose une discussion détaillée d’une quarantaine de romans français contemporains qui portent sur la vie de Jésus et qui font écho au débat actuel sur la laïcité et le fondamentalisme. Examinant leurs points de vue narratifs et leurs perspectives (anti) théologiques, cette étude interroge le portrait postmoderne de Jésus pour des lecteurs qui appartiennent à une époque méfiante à l’égard des métarécits. S’appuyant sur les recherches de Marcel Gauchet, de Julia Kristeva et de René Girard, parmi beaucoup d’autres, cette étude examine Jésus comme ‘héros problématique’ et ‘personnage conceptuel’ au seuil du nouveau millénaire. Elle montre comment ces romans reflètent les avancées récentes de l’exégèse biblique, de l’anthropologie religieuse, de la psychanalyse et de la théologie.