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Title: The death of God and the negation of eternal return in the theology of Thomas J.J. Altizer and the fiction of A.S. Byatt
Author: Fountain, James Stephen
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis is an attempt to explicate the concept of the death of God as it arises within Thomas Altizer's theological writings and the fiction of A.S. Byatt, paying special attention to the idea of the negation of eternal return. The negation of eternal return not only informs Altizer's theology, but also provides a metaphor with which to critique not only the traditional theological idea of God, but also the self-sufficiency of the theological tradition. As Altizer's theology is informed by a literary tradition outside the circle of traditional theological reflection, so this thesis suggests that theology comes about necessarily through self-emptying fictions, and not through the closedness of scholasticism; therefore the fiction of Byatt becomes a point of entry into theological reflection. The negation of eternal return also provides a useful metaphor for the metaphysics of the Proper, and economies of the Same. An intertextual consideration of Altizer's influences and theological development alongside the works of Byatt (specifically Possession, The Virgin in the Garden and Still Life), the thesis is informed also by thinkers such as Mark C. Taylor, Jacques Derrida, and Julia Kristeva, disciplines such as modern physics and nineteenth century biology, and literary works such as "The Dream of the Rood" and Iris Murdoch's The Time of the Angels.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BT Doctrinal Theology