The Theoretical Community (Or, is There a Theory in his Journal?)



Hass AW (2012) The Theoretical Community (Or, is There a Theory in his Journal?). Literature and Theology, 26 (3), pp. 289-304.

The following essay explores the nature of theory within the interdisciplinary space we call literature and theology—or more generally religion and literature—and the role theory has played in that space’s collective practice. It argues that theory is natural to the ‘binding’ of religion with literature and of literature with religion, since both are caught in a dilemma of reading, including the ‘reading’ of the practices that mark each of their respective disciplines. The discussion then looks at the spectatorial nature of the ancient notion of theory as theoria, before it traces how theory, in moving from theoria to high Theory, has figured in the 25 volumes of Literature and Theology itself. This tracing covers a double assumption of theory and an appropriation of the ‘other’ as theory. The essay concludes by looking at the dynamic that continues to bind literature and theology, and indeed the readers of a journal such as this one, in a communality of theory, practice, and interpretation.

literature; theology; theory; theoria; interpretation

Literature and Theology: Volume 26, Issue 3

Publication date30/09/2012
PublisherOxford University Press

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Dr Andrew Hass

Dr Andrew Hass

Reader, Religion