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Thou Art That Chapter Summary & Analysis - Chapter 4, The Religious Imagination and the Rules of Traditional Theology Summary

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Chapter 4, The Religious Imagination and the Rules of Traditional Theology Summary and Analysis

When clergy cannot interpret symbols properly, they are unable to awaken people's hearts. Translating the Roman Catholic Mass into local languages and turning the altar dilute the mystery, turning the priest into an intermediary like Julia Child. Church is not about comfortable feelings. Symbols are constantly misread as concrete denotations, over which people fight rather than seeing the transcendent truth.

When characters are introduced to a narrative, things grow complex. The tragic emotions, pity and terror, break past appearances to rapture. Pity unites the mind with the human sufferer, while terror is a "static experience of the sublime" (Aristotle via James Joyce). The calamity of racial strife is not tragedy, for lack of a "secret cause." Martin Luther king, Jr., being assassinated after challenging death in public...

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This section contains 490 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Thou Art That Study Guide
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Thou Art That from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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