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An Epic Vision of Christianity

Olivier Abel


In the late 1950s Paul Ricoeur wrote a programmatic essay on his vision of Christianity. Out of this essay could be gleaned an epic tone that has seemed to turn inaudible. This article seeks to make such epic tone audible. First, it situates the context out of which the epic strand in Ricoeur’s “theology” has emerged and asks why he would even dare to speak of theology as epic. Second, the article dwells on the kind of reader, author, and character the epic genre generates and asks who is capable, not only of reading and heeding the epic, but also of acting and working in an epic way. The final section surfaces the meaning and the limits of the epic. 


Ricoeur; Hegel; epic; narrative; evil; redemption; imagination

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