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Raphael Magarik, Department of English: Faculty Fellows Lecture

one ring fire

Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 4 PM

Location:  Room 302 SCE, 750 South Halsted, UIC, and via Zoom (link below)

Free Indirect Revelation: Secularism, Narratology, and Peasant Revolts in Luther's Lectures on Genesis

The great, early Reformer Martin Luther is often thought to have advocated a simple, direct relationship between the religious believer and the Bible. In this talk, I will show how in fact, Luther's Bible (I focus on Genesis) is intensely and complexly mediated by a web of ministers: characters within the story, sixteenth century preachers like Luther himself, and most importantly, the Mosaic narrator. This argument exemplifies my book project's larger claim: Protestant commentators and poets newly imagined the Bible as containing a doubled structure of author and narrator—a way of thinking about literary narrative we now take for granted, but which they helped invent. While I chart the invention of basic, modern ways of thinking about narration, I also show how that story is entangled with a process of secularization—in this case, a hierarchical, elite disciplining of unruly religiosity.

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