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Congregation: Stories and Structures by James F. Hopewell


At the time of his death in 1984, James F. Hopewell was Professor of Religion and the Church and Director of the Rollins Center for Church Ministries at the Candler School of theology, Emory University. Published by Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1987. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted & Winnie Brock.


Chapter 4 The Struggle For Setting


Not long ago a tumor was taken from my chest and I was told that I carry an indolent but incurable form of cancer. What, I asked myself on my hospital bed, was a decent chap like me doing in such deadly circumstances? What on earth was going on? The threat of my death provoked for me an unprecedented search for meaning. I sought a plausible account of the world that explained my plight.

My friends joined the search. In the uncertainty of my sickroom we tried to find accounts that, in the face of dying, would disclose the point of my life. The accounts tended to be stories -- personal recollections, tales of similar happenings, hopes, prayers, and resolutions about the future. Woven into their telling was the Christian faith that I and most of my friends subscribe to. That faith, plus other perceptions about our personal lives and the course of human history, provided a dimension to our stories that I call their setting: the world the story sets in which storyís plot can credibly unfold and its character develop.

One of the major undertakings of narrative discourse is the establishment of settings, the conditions within which the events of a tale gain their reasonableness. Along with plot and characterization, setting is a principal element of storytelling. It describes the storyís universe. So important is the development of setting in the narrative of a local church that three chapters will be devoted to exploring ways to analyze and understand the meanings implied in setting.

In an ethnographic analysis of a community the setting is termed its world view. In Geertzís words, world view is the "picture" a group shares "of the way things in sheer actuality are, their most comprehensive ideas of order."1 A community over time develops a shared sense of what is really going on in the world. In traditional societies, world views may be more uniform and explicit than those we encountered in Western, technological ones, but the social need to construct a commonly satisfactory setting for our lives was also evident in the sophisticated encounters in my hospital room.

World views, both ancient and modern, are fragile and incomplete constructions, subject to damaging contradiction. No world view is irrefutable, even to its ardent supporters, and indeed it is often in conjunction with events that challenge its adequacy that it is most urgently expressed. It was when my own life was most pointedly threatened, for example, that stories about the world were told with greatest frequency. Both the strength and the frailty of setting are associated with crises that challenge its significance. Geertz describes the link:

The strange opacity of certain empirical events, the dumb senselessness of intense or inexorable pain, and the enigmatic unaccountability of gross inequity all raise the uncomfortable suspicion that perhaps the world, and hence manís life in the world, has no genuine order at all -- no empirical regularity, no emotional form, no moral coherence. And the religious response to this suspicion is in each case the same: the formulation, by means of symbols, of an image of such a genuine order of the world which will account for, even celebrate, the perceived ambiguities, puzzles and paradoxes of human experience.

Setting is a groupís cosmic construction that accounts for crises. This working picture of reality often goes unexpressed until challenged. Then, in that tension, the plot thickens, and world view as story is related, binding even in the light of its contradiction the self to the Other, the finite frame to the worldís outcome.

Anthropologists such as Geertz and Robert Redfield 3 make a distinction between the world view of a community and its ethos. World view indicates the universe that the group constructs; ethos, by contrast, reflects the values and dispositions that the group maintains. World view encompasses a communityís perceptions and suspicions about what is happening in life. Ethos instead comprises its preferences and valuations of that life. I make a similar analytical distinction between the setting of parish story and its characterization. Character corresponds to the storyís ethos, its wishes, style, and norms, elements to be examined in the next major section of this book. In the present section the focus is the setting of parish story, its world view.

One should not expect to encounter fully developed cosmologies in the settings of parish story. A congregationís thick description of its universe is expressed in local metaphors, not universal propositions. And a world view is more likely to be manifested, as it was in my hospital room, in stories about a personal life than in accounts about the world at large.

A personal story nevertheless dramatizes the way a community views itself and its total world. Mary Douglas has demonstrated how perceptions of the self mirror a societyís interpretation of both its corporate nature and the larger cosmos. In her pioneering study of cosmologies of different peoples, she shows that the human body is our most accessible metaphor for figuring what we really suspect about our groupís and the worldís makeup. According to Douglas, the way a group perceives and regulates the personal bodies of members corresponds with their view of their collective body. The human body, for Douglas, is a "natural symbol" by which a people order the systemic nature of their corporate life.

The human body is always treated as an image of society.... There can be no natural way of considering the body that does not involve at the same time a social dimension.... The social body constrains the way in which the physical body is perceived. The physical experience of the body, always modified by the social categories through which it is known, sustains a particular view of society. There is a continual exchange of meanings between the two kinds of body experience so that each reinforces the categories of the other.4

How a group sees and treats its members depends upon concepts that also articulate its corporate nature. However the members contemplate, heal, discipline, develop, pity, and finally commit their personal bodies is likely to coincide with the ways they understand and act on the corporate body of which they are a part.

The way a group understands the bodies of its members and its corporate body is also consonant with the way it views its world. Groups interpret the world by the same code that orders their individual and internal social activity. Thus there is a remarkable congruence among the three levels of bodied experience -- personal, social, and cosmic -- that a group identifies as systems within which life occurs. The shape of life at each level, its significance, and the stages of its development are frequently analogous. Any exploration of congregational world view therefore requires attention to the way a church sees and deals with its individual members, its corporate body, and the wider world. Since the belief system of a parish includes not only its formal creeds but also the meanings it assigns to itself and its members as finite bodies, to learn about a churchís world view -- what it believes is really going on in life -- one must listen to the churchís stories about its own body and those of the members who constitute it.

Hospital Stories

The tales told around my hospital bed illustrate what Geertz and Douglas have taught about world view. The stories were told at a time of acute crisis, in a situation that challenged the very world order the tales projected but that also required their telling. Struggling with me to establish an explanation of life that incorporated the fact of my condition, my friends put forward their images and experiences, knowing that none resolved the inevitable approach of my death, yet knowing even so that their tales were essential to our mutual quest for meaning and love.

The tales revolved around human bodies and their treatment. Illness, its course and possible cure, provided the metaphor by which we characterized our communities and universes. Although a number of my visitors held graduate degrees in theology and philosophy, our discourse seldom focused upon abstract propositions. In the urgency of my situation we projected our concepts of society and world through our narration of personal experiences.

The narratives we advanced were, however, remarkably varied in their outlook. They conveyed different senses of what life is about. While the tales all pictured the form and process of the world, the description each provided of the nature of that world conflicted with that of the others. And although all the stories addressed the evil of disease, each revealed one of several diverse suspicions about what the evil meant and thus posited a different world as the setting for its account, the meaning of each tale depending upon the distinctive nature of that world. 5

To understand the interpretations of life and death proposed in our narratives requires an appreciation of the types of worlds those stories constructed. To distinguish these worlds I shall first use the four narrative genres identified by Northrop Frye.6 Frye has laid out all of Western literature in a great imaginary circle that has four cardinal points much like those of a compass. The four points that orient the literary circle are, in clockwise order, comedy, romance, tragedy, and irony. The structure of a literary work, Frye argues, places it somewhere on the circle, if not fully within a particular genre, then somewhere between two adjoining types. The settings of the stories told about my illness can be seen in relation to the same circle of interpretation.7

Comic tales

Some accounts, notably those offered by some hospital chaplains and seminary students practicing hospital chaplaincy, conveyed primarily a comic sense of life. The essence of comedy, here and elsewhere, is not humorous incidents but a happy ending. (By my bed the tellers of comic tales were quite serious; they related, however, narratives that ended in the positive resolution of difficult situations.) Comedy projects a world that ultimately integrates its seemingly antithetical elements. Its direction is opposite to the disintegrative course of tragedy; it moves from problem to solution. In comedies as diverse as Shakespeareís and those on prime time television, life progresses from a state of crisis created by some illusion to a harmonious recovery brought about by discovering the true nature of the circumstances.

In countless situation comedies we enter a world that is at first misunderstood (e.g., a husband sees his wife with another man and mistakenly infers she is having an affair). The crisis deepens until the true knowledge, the gnosis, is uncovered (the husband finds out that the wife was using the other man to help buy the husbandís birthday present). Comedies end in unions -- pacts, embraces, marriages -- that symbolize the ultimately trustworthy working of the world. Created in misinformation and convoluted by error, a comedy is resolved by the disclosure of a deeper knowledge about the harmonious way things really are.

The comic sense in some of my bedside narratives was based upon experiences of friends who as chaplains had had the opportunity to counsel cancer patients and to observe cases in which persons in dire situations actually had recovered from their immediate plight. In their stories that summarized these cases, the initial illusion was the terror a patient had of the cancer. According to the chaplains and such well-known cancer therapists as the Simontons (whose recent book bears the comic title Getting Well Again),8 as long as the patient does not understand the relationship between person and cancer, the malignancy festers. As in comedy, a misunderstanding exists, here between oneís mind and oneís body. Not understanding their deep connection, cancer sufferers are unaware how their mental stress encourages the growth of disease and how cancer in turn affects their disposition.

What patients must discover is the gnosis, the deeper knowing, that can unite self and body and interrupt the malignant relationship. In the words of one of my chaplains, "You must get with your cancer." You must learn, according to the cover of the Simonton book, the "revolutionary life-saving self-awareness techniques" that envision the cancer and the manner in which the body overcomes it. None of my chaplain colleagues implied that I would live happily ever after, but their stories projected a longer and more harmonious life made possible by a comic gnosis.

Romantic tales

Other stories told at my bedside conveyed a romantic sense of the world. Like the comic tales, the romances foresaw my possible cure, but the way to recovery was not by new knowledge but through spiritual adventure. My friends who told romantic stories were charismatic seminary students and some members of my parish church. They saw in my sickness the opportunity, were I to seek it, for God to love me in a surprising and thrilling way.

In romance occurs a quest for the most desirable object -- the distant planet in science fiction, the beloved in gothic novels, the lawful community in westerns. The hero or heroine leaves familiar surroundings and embarks on a dangerous journey in which strange things happen but a priceless reward is gained. Good and evil are sharply delineated in romance, protagonists and antagonists clearly displayed.

In their charismatic understanding of the world my friends who told romantic stories beckoned me to leave behind my domestic religious routine and wholeheartedly yield to the promise of Godís healing love. Were I to believe that God really works miraculously within history, and specifically through that part of the world which is my own historical body, I would become a seeker, forsaking views of the world in which God, playing a more passive role, does not break into lives and circumstances to transform them. According to these romantic tales, Godís Spirit would fill and empower me in adventure. I would persist in the face of evil, and my body through the Spirit would receive Godís gifts and fruits, including the gift of healing. "The hero of romance," Frye writes, "moves in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are suspended: prodigies of courage and endurance unnatural to us are natural to him."9 I would become a hero in romance, venturing into the unknown, battling the evil, finding the good, and in the end gaining the prize, which, in my case, would be the release from my cancer as well as an experience of Godís intimate presence. I would encounter God in a new, personal way, by the romantic indwelling of Godís love and power. The wonders of the Bible still occur to those who seek them. I could expect a miracle.

Not all of my visitors, however, told stories of a world that promised healing. Comic and romantic narratives that envisioned cure were counterbalanced by tales of tragedy and irony that depicted settings in which I was to accept my body, and thus the world, as it is. Tragedy and irony do not, however, perceive the worldís course in the same way. Tragic stories detect an underlying purpose in our setting; the ironies do not.

Tragic tales

Tragedy portrays the decay of life and the necessary sacrifice of the self before resolution occurs. The self in tragedy, as in romance, is heroic, but unlike the romantic hero, the tragic hero submits to a harshly authentic world. No deus ex machina breaks miraculously into the tragic scene. The divine is revealed largely as the eternal law or word made plain only to the self subject to it. In both great tragic works and tragic everyday life the protagonist submits to the Other. The fall of great tragic heroes is more monumental than our own, but final catastrophe is our mutual fate. One does not leave the familiar in a tragic plot. Without magic by which to escape, the hero is shaped by the pattern of the Other and is obedient to it in death. When portrayed as tragic hero, Christ accepts the cross, with the intervention of neither romantic miracle nor comic gnosis. Those who follow the way of Christ live their lives tragically in the shadow of the cross. They suffer; they die to self and gain justification only beyond, and through, Christís death and their own.

Tragic stories told in my presence generally were offered by family members and fellow ministers. They stressed the importance of being honest about my condition. I was to be reconciled to my life and lot and even more to my God, bending my remaining time to Godís will. I was not, as in a comic frame, to "get with my cancer," but to get right with God. My tragic friends and I would honestly mark changes in my life and track its heroic descent into darkness. Linda Bamber writes of the tragic world:

It is a world that is separate from us who inhabit it; it will not yield to our desires and fantasies no matter how desperately we need it to do so. This means that in tragedy, recognition -- anagnorisis, the banishing of ignorance -- is a major goal. We question the tragic universe to discover its laws, since they are what we must live by. The worlds of comedy and romance, by contrast, are shaped by our heartsí desires and in history we are busy remaking the world to suit ourselves.10

What my family and clergy friends emphasized in their stories was not the sweet fulfillment of our own desires but our recognition of Godís laws governing our own short lives.

In identifying ourselves with Godís will, however, we would be saved. The reconciliation holds little likelihood of miracles. Death advances, but so does the promise of salvation through death. The law of God is revealed not only in the course of life but also in Scripture. By faith in the cross one is named to life eternal. The tragic hero is not cured but saved, by an identification with the transcendent pattern of tragic life. "Tragic heroes," says Frye, "are wrapped in the mystery of their communion with that something beyond which we can only see through them, and which is the source of their strengths and their fate alike."11

Ironic tales

My fellow faculty members were the primary purveyors of ironic stories. One is a hero neither in irony nor among faculty colleagues. In either circumstance, supposed heroes are shown to be all too human, and this sober incongruity marked the tales my fellow teachers told. In ironic stories, reputedly worthy persons come to naught and what seem to be good plans go sour. Irony challenges heroic and purposive interpretations of the world. Events that in other story genres have sacred significance in irony have a natural explanation. Miracles do not happen; patterns lose their design; life is unjust, not justified by transcendent forces. Trapped in such an ironic world, one shrugs oneís shoulders about reports of divine ultimacies and intimacies. Instead of expecting such supernatural outcomes, one embraces oneís brothers and sisters in camaraderie.

In an ironic setting one is freed only as one accepts the arbitrary working of life and reaches out to a humanity in common plight. The ironic tales related in my room recognized the absurdity of my situation and did not predict my cure. My visitors focused upon medical prognosis. We looked realistically at scientific therapies that might stave off death. We avoided the compulsory sadness of tragedy. Our sober assessment of empirical data was accompanied by an ironic defiance of any prescribed emotion. In our fellowship many touched me and some prayed. Their prayers were narratives that anticipated the skill of the medical staff and our emotional well-being. As a brother caught in an incongruous world, I was, by their efforts, loved but not led to healing.

Most stories in Northrop Fryeís great literary circle blend two adjoining genres and are therefore identified by such double terms as comic ironies, tragic romances, or romantic tragedies (the noun in each phrase denotes the dominant type). Only the combinations of polar opposites -- comedy and tragedy, and romance and irony -- are structurally impossible.12 Their worlds are contradictory: comedy moves from problem to solution, while tragedy moves from solution to problem; romance moves the self to the supernatural, while irony removes the supernatural from the self. The opposition of these types was evident in the reactions of my friends to stories other than their own. Least understandable to them were the opposite stories. Ironic interpretations were shocking to the tellers of romance. The ironists, in turn, had least patience with the miracles of the romantics. A similar antipathy existed between the comedians and the tragedians. Each saw the other as taking a liberty with the pattern of life. The tellers of tragedy identified the comic view as a shallow, godless trick; the tellers of comedies were quick to find in tragic narrative a legalistic, morbid obsession.

Many stories, however, partook of neighboring categories in the circle, and, possibly in consonance with the tale I came to tell myself, most told me tragic ironies. In tragic irony the characteristics of an empirical interpretation of the world dominate, but there is also evidence of some underlying pattern. The world in my own story is not entirely limited to what was experienced through my five senses; a pattern of meaning, beyond my empirical grasp but nonetheless demanding my submission, also had a claim on me.

The Struggle

Sometimes I want this illness of mine to be resolved by miracle. My desire comes less in night darkness or times of anxiety; then death seems fitting. It arises instead in moments of obvious goodness, on the cool day that follows a hot summer, in laughter among friends, or in a crisp paper of a good student. Then I want my whole self to resound the promise the moment reveals. Then sometimes I hope for a miracle.

But what would make up this miracle? Here I wrestle among world view options, pulled toward each by my desire for continuing identity but checked by suspicions about their descriptive adequacy. Is, for example, miracle best portrayed for me by Friedrich Schleiermacherís proposal that miracles are omnipresent signs that disclose the Infinite?

What is a miracle? What we call miracle is everywhere else called sign, indication. Our name, which means a wonder, refers purely to the mental condition of the observer. It is only in so far appropriate that a sign, especially when it is nothing besides, must be fitted to call attention to itself and to the power in it that gives it significance. Every finite thing, however, is a sign of the Infinite, and so these various expressions declare the immediate relation of a phenomenon to the Infinite and the Whole. But does that involve that every event should not have quite as immediate a relation to the finite and to nature? Miracle is simply the religious name for event. Every event, even the most natural and usual, becomes a miracle, as soon as the religious view of it can be the dominant. To me all is miracle. In your sense the inexplicable and strange alone is miracle, in mine it is no miracle. The more religious you are, the more miracle would you see everywhere. All disputing about single events, as to whether or not they are to be called miraculous, gives me a painful impression of the poverty and wretchedness of the religious sense of the combatants.13

Were I to follow what I would call the comic or gnostic vein in Schleiermacherís thought, I would gain the assurance that I, like any other single entity, am actually resolved in the eternal.14 All things, including my cancer, are really signs, miracles in themselves that signify the encompassing One. Instead of considering my condition a frustration of life, I could, by the gnostic negotiation, work to see the inherently miraculous nature of my state, and rest upon its indication of being in God.

Or I could accept an opposing, tragic understanding of miracle that identifies the worldís life itself, not its signifiers, as the wonder. Listen to Karl Barth:

God does not grudge the existence of the reality distinct from Himself; He does not grudge it its own reality, nature and freedom. The existence of the creature alongside God is the great puzzle and miracle, the great question to which we must and may give an answer, the answer given us through Godís Word; it is the genuine question about existence, which is essentially and fundamentally distinguished from the question which rests upon error, "Is there a God?" That there is a world is the most unheard-of thing, the miracle of the grace of God. Is it not true that if we confront existence, not least our own existence, we can but in astonishment state the truth and reality of the fact that I may exist, the world may exist, although it is a reality distinct from God, although the world including man and therefore myself is nor God? God in the highest, the Triune God, the Father, the Almighty, is not arbitrary; He does not grudge existence to this other. He not only does not grudge it him, He not only leaves it to him, He gives it him. We exist and heaven and earth exist in their complete, supposed infinity, because God gives them existence.15

My life is the object of Godís sovereign grace, not the sign of Godís reality. The marvel for Barth is that we exist at all, not that we reflect an ultimate Being. Were I to follow such an understanding, I would submit to the sure sign, the Word, that discloses the created nature of my life and its unapparent, unmerited, redemption. The miracle is not inherent in my illness; it is that my life depends upon a transcendent God who promises my eternal salvation.

Then there is the more individuated perception of miracle advanced by the romantic world view. Michael Harper represents the perception of those who witness personal encounters with a healing God.

There are few greater thrills for the Christian than to see people touched by the power of God and healed in their bodies and minds. One has been present when a paralyzed arm has straightened and received its natural strength again, when the darkness of massive depression has rolled away, and so on. One now knows something of the kind of excitement which ran through Palestine when Jesus ministered there to so many sick people two thousand years ago.... We are living in a day in which there is a welcome resurgence of faith in a God who performs miracles. The working of miracles is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is not the only one. But it does have an important place in the overall strategy of the Holy Spirit, and it does glorify Christ.16

Romantic miracles are both a gift and a sign from God. As the Spiritís spontaneous gift, they are not the omnipresent metaphors of a comic world. Romantic miracles also differ from the tragic acknowledgment of the miracle of life itself. More than simply accepting my existence as miraculous, if I take the romantic part I might expect a charismatic miracle of specific healing.

Ironic world views also countenance miracles, ones that cause our senses to marvel. Willa Cather writes:

Where there is great love there are always miracles.... Miracles ... rest not so much on faces or voices or healing power coming to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what there is about us always. 17

Miracle occurs when through love we gain the finer sense of things. In an ironic world those things require neither ultimate referent nor grand design. They exist wondrously in themselves, about us always, but usually obscured by our selfish, loveless blindness.

All four world interpretations acknowledge miracles, the wonders that refract the world in different figures, and all four views are to some extent available and attractive to me. My own need for cosmic order, however, cannot tolerate an acceptance of all their contradictory claims. Instead, I engage in a negotiation, in my case a primarily ironic one, that confirms my understanding of the inherently miraculous in part by rejecting a romantic vision of the occasional blessing. As much as I would welcome my personal release from my imprisoning illness, I cannot believe in a world that offers selective solace to a privileged few. Much closer to my sense of life is the proposition that it contains within itself the extraordinary. I gain a glimpse of its wonder, when, in a communion of love, the scales fall from my eyes and I am amazed by the intricacy of the ordinary.

But I hedge a bit. I am suspicious of the way an ironic outlook lyricizes the dull, given matter of life. And I am frightened of a position that promises no significance beyond the way things now are. I do not want to be merely intricate; I want also to participate in some pattern that transcends the course of my feeble life. I therefore supplement my essentially empirical understanding with what logicians call subalternation, by a secondary reliance upon a tragic viewpoint. My world displays, in Fryeís terms, a tragic irony.

The tragic irony that I tell about my mortal body reflects something of the approach I make to understanding the congregation. From neither bodily nor congregational habitation do I see miraculous escape, either by comic recognition that will give the church a special knowing at a higher stage of development or by a romantic quest that turns the parish outward into Godís undomesticated presence in the larger context. Rather, the setting of my story and the congregationís portrays my own body and that of the local church essentially in human terms, but my factual portrait of the world is darkly shaded by the tragic inevitability of Godís inexorable plan.

In the following two chapters, I shall examine more precisely the various forms that parish stories assume and show how by observation and inquiry one can explore the setting of a congregationís narrative. These steps are best taken with the giant circle of literary genres in mind. Within this circle are the local churches we know, each arranging its view of the world by stories whose structure links them to a certain section of the horizon.

 

 

Notes

1. Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 89.

2. Ibid., 107-8.

3. Ibid., 87-141; Robert Redfield, The Little Community (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1955), 85-98. Other anthropologists employ a third analytical dimension similar to what I call plot. Ethel Albert calls the three aspects the "focal values" of a group. For her, the three are the "entities" (objects, feeling states, situations, activities) that I would term the groupís setting; the "directives" (actions to be done or avoided) I term its plot; and its "character" (qualities of personality approved or disapproved, rewarded or punished) to which I give the same name (Ethel Albert, "The Classification of Values," American Anthropologist 58 [1956]: 251ff.).

4. Mary Douglas, Natural Symbols, 99, 93. See also Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1944), 23-26.

5. "We allocate conversations to genres just as we do literary narratives. Indeed a conversation is a dramatic work, even if a very short one, in which participants are not only the actors but also the joint authors, working out in an agreement or disagreement the mode of their production" (Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, 196).

6. Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, 158-239. See the use of Fryeís genres in analyses of historiography in Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1973); of psychoanalytic method in Roy Schafer, A New Language for Psychoanalysis (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1976); and of the growth of secularity in Robert W. Funk, Parables and Presence: Forms of the New Testament Tradition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982), 124-37.

7. Mary Douglas is herself reluctant to transpose ethnographic categories into literary analogues, but her observations nevertheless invite literary interpretation. In her book Natural Symbols she identifies, for example, four distinctive attitudes toward the physical body that are remarkably similar to the narrative modes of Northrop Frye. In her typology of basic stances toward life that societies take, the body may be seen as essentially the organ of communication (and, hence, comically integrating all meaningful action), or as the vehicle of life (body and spirit romantically joining), or as purely spiritual (its life tragically awaiting its release), or as very practical (ironically defeating other interpretations). Persons in societies that reflect one of these representations of the body, moreover, certainly convey its image primarily by their stories.

8. O. Carl Simonton, Stephanie-Matthews Simonton, and James L. Creighton, Getting Well Again: A Step-by step Self Help Guide to Overcoming Cancer for Patients and Their Families (Toronto: Bantam Books, 1978).

9. Frye, Anatomy, 33.

10. Linda Bamber, Comic Women, Tragic Men: A Study of Gender and Genre in Shakespeare (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1982), 22.

11. Frye, Anatomy, 208.

12. Ibid., 162.

13. Friedrich Schleiermacher, On Religion: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers, trans. John Oman (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958), 88-89.

14. Ibid., 99-101.

15. Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline (New York: Harper & Row, 1959), 54.

16. Michael Harper, None Can Guess (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos International, 1971), 137, 140.

17. Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1927), 50-51.

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