Sunday, 28 September 2008

Is 'lived allegory' a workable definition of prophecy?

Steve Lancaster said... Oh, you have to watch allegory! Or before long you find you've written Dante's Inferno ;).

What you've written here is more than allegory, because it has been lived. (Question: is 'lived allegory' a workable definition of prophecy?

Is 'lived allegory' a workable definition of prophecy? This is the question which has preoccupied me all week. I was hoping to get a response post written, but I still can't make up my mind.

Does anyone else have any ideas, thoughts, perspectives, views to contribute? Or would Steve like to explain further...?

1 comment:

Steve Lancaster said...

Hi Grace,

One of those off the cuff comments that starts to resonate as you type it.

I'm not sure. Prophecy as lived allegory? I think what was going through my mind was that whether or not your account of the path through the housing estate was intended as an allegory, it certainly could be taken as such - almost to the extent that it was unavoidable.

Which got me thinking that one way God might get me to notice something would be to have me live through it first. That way it would be ingrained in my memory - my flesh, even - though the interpretation I might choose to give the experience might in the end be mine to make.

For example, was it Hosea who married a prostitute, and stayed faithful to her, as an allegory of God's relationship with Israel? (And was the interpretation of the prophecy binding? Or an exercise in sense-making by a patriarchal figure, who had an experience to deal with, and chose this explanation?)

The few dreams I've had of future events have been so fragmented that they have required a wilful act of interpretation to be made of them before they could be called prophecies properly. I'd be really interested to hear whether this is other people's experience, or just my own.