It has been some time since a Bible study series has been offered at Erindale United Church. I volunteered to lead eight different seminars once a month from September 2015 to May 2016, with the exception of November 2015. They are based on the way I have personally approached the Bible for a number of years, without reference to superstition or the supernatural. The contents of this seminar have been recorded by myself and do not necessarily represent any official opinions of Erindale United Church or the United Church of Canada.
The selection of content for the seminar is based on an undergraduate course entitled “The Bible and English Literature” by Northrop Frye. I took a version of this course at Victoria College during the 1963-64 academic year. Of course, I am a student of Physics, not English Literature nor Theology. I will therefore not be able to duplicate Frye’s encyclopaedic understanding of the story of the Christian Bible.
Frye’s work also has a particular importance to the United Church of Canada, in which he also served as an ordained Minister. Frye’s Approach to the Christian Bible is through his training as a literary critic. Criticism, to him, is much more than making a commentary on the written words of others. His specific critical method involves the uncovering of knowledge primarily through the analysis of language and its devices and forms, such as metaphor and myth. Criticism becomes to him a creative tool, which is necessary to use “in all the arts, and in fact every aspect of life, so that the word criticism expands until it is practically synonymous with education itself. … In religion, too, we must keep a critical attitude than never unconditionally accepts any socially established form of revelation.” (a quote taken from the bottom of p 38 and top of p 39 in Frye’s book “The Double Vision: Language and Meaning in Religion”, the text for the seminar). So we will also examine what happens to faith when we approach bible writings with the tools of critical thinking.
The session transcripts have been posted on my personal website, http://www.frasercode.ca/bible-seminar-transcripts. Please click on the preceding link, and your browser will open my website link under a new browser tab. To return to the EUC Website, click on its previously opened tab on your Browser.
I hope you enjoy reviewing the seminar transcripts, and feel free to contact me by email if you have any comments or questions.