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ISSN : 1229-5620(Print)
ISSN : 2288-7652(Online)
Literature and Religion Vol.18 No.2 pp.91-111

노스럽 프라이의 원형예표론적 성서해석에 대한 고찰

서 명 수

An Investigation on Northrop Frye’s Archetypological Interpretation of the Bible

Myung Soo Suh


One of the distinguished literary critics in the 20th centuryNorthrop Frye is fully qualified to be remembered and positivelyreevaluated in the study of literature and religion. However, hisliterary world has not been adequately studied by Korean scholarsand literary critics. For this reason the purpose of this paper is tointroduce his literary world and examine it with the perspective ofliterary-biblical scholarship.The archetypal criticism has been regarded as his peculiar methodfor combining myth with proclamation(kerygma). According to him,the Bible is literature wearing the cloth of a sufficient metaphor.And in the Bible there are various mythic stories built in metaphor.In many cases myth reveals its own meaning in a form of typology.Typology is a manner of combination between archetype andantitype. The Old Testament is combined by typology with the NewTestament. Frye pays attention to the importance of myth in theBible in the atmosphere of depreciation of myth in the field ofbiblical studies, which was initiated by the biblical scholar R.Bultmann. His schematic framework stands on the archetypologicalinterpretation of the Bible. Frye constantly negotiates Christiantypology and mythic archetype. Also he enriches typology withpatterns drawn from comparative anthropology. His archetypologicalinterpretation surely widens our eyes to see the mythic wholenessand unity of the Bible. Of course there has been some criticisms ofhis insights and method. That is, his reading of the Bible through the archetypology revives a form of Christian supersessionism thatdetaches the Hebrew Scriptures from the shifting complications oftheir particular realizations.However, his academic achievements cannot be depreciated by fewproblems. As he quotes Bruno’s saying(Est aliquid prodisse tenus) inthe introduction of the Great Code, it is great that he preceded to acertain extent in the study of literature and religion.