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Title: Scale in literature : with reference to the New Testament and other texts in English and Greek
Author: Barr, George K.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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This dissertation explores "scale" in literature in general, and in the New Testament epistles in particular. All creative activity has its locus at an appropriate point within a wide scale spectrum: literature is no exception. This became apparent in 1965 when scale relationships were observed by the author in cumulative sum graphs of the Pauline epistles. Such scale differences are familiar to architects who use scale as a creative tool, but a wide search through standard reference books, surveys of work on statistical stylometry, linguistics and Biblical studies failed to provide any evidence that scholars were aware of scale in literature. Further investigation revealed that scale differences were to be found in many fields of creativity, in architecture, art, photography, music and engineering. Also explored was an interesting parallel found in the multi-layered scaling associated with the mathematics of chaos. To provide a broader perspective through which to view the Pauline epistles, 80 works by six modern authors and the writings of three ancient Greek authors were selected as test material. Graphs were prepared showing the sentence sequences and distributions of these works comprising over 400,000 words, and scale differences were found, not only between works, but also between sections of individual works. These were related to differences in genre, and this raised serious questions concerning the statistical homogeneity of samples containing scale differences. Care was taken to relate patterns directly to the content of the text and to the findings of Biblical scholarship. Links with theology revealed that the sense of the numinous presence, and the sense of the sublime in art, were on occasion directly reflected in sentence length. Human moods and feelings were found to have unpredictable but measurable manifestations in terms of scale in literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available