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This dictionary is a thorough compendium of common Biblical allusions and their appearances in English-language literature. Each entry begins with a brief account of the biblical character, story, or quotation in question. Most entries also explain the history of interpretation before listing its appearance in literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to contemporary novels. As a reference work, the dictionary is enormously helpful in both tracking down biblical allusions and tracing links between literary works from different eras. Personally, I have also found the dictionary helpful in understanding the history of biblical interpretation, as it records many interpretations of biblical stories that simply do not occur to the modern reader of the Bible.
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"Sixteen years in the making, this superb and unprecedented reference work will prove invaluable to readers, students, and professional scholars throughout English-speaking world. A DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL TRADITION IN ENGLISH LITERATURE is designed to help the modern reader understand how biblical motifs, concepts, names, quotations, and allusions have been transmitted through exegetical tradition and used by authors of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present. The book contains several hundred encyclopedic articles (more than a million words) written by a distinguished international roster of more than 160 contributors representing the disciplines of biblical studies, theology, patristics, and literary studies. These major articles, numerous short identification entries, and extensive bibliographies together constitute a rich repository of information opening up the many centuries of dialogue between the Bible and literature."
I write supernatural fiction that strives to be highly literary, and I have found this a wonderful source of information and inspiration. There are numerous passages of poetry , many entries conclude with a note of Bibliography listing Literary works in which a passage has been used or by which it has been inspired. Along with names from Scripture there are also explanations of phrases such as "Children of Light," "Eye Hath Not Seen," "Let The Dead Bury Their Dead," "Old Men Dream Dreams" &c &c. As a guide to great Literature, this is an invaluable source; and as a source of inspiration for story themes and titles, it is indispensable.Read more ›