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The Meaning of Literature and Literature as Meaning—A Productive Challenge of Modern Times from the Middle Ages

Department of German Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Academic Editor: David Konstan
Humanities 2016, 5(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/h5020024
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 7 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
The marriage of literature and science might not be possible strictly speaking, but a marriage of humanities with philosophy, psychology, religion, ethics, ecology, and social studies, for instance, might well work, as a close analysis of some medieval narratives will illustrate. This paper intends to demonstrate once again what the humanities could truly mean, insofar as the discussion will not only lay bare textual elements or philological concerns, but it will also indicate how much relevant literature helps us to address crucial questions of religious, ethical, social, moral, and philosophical kinds, building powerful bridges between the past and the present. In order to test this premise even in extreme situations, here a number of medieval texts will be introduced and analyzed as to their timeless message and hence their extremely important function of creating meaning for readers/listeners both from the Middle Ages and today. View Full-Text
Keywords: meaning of the humanities; meaning of literature today; the Middle Ages; Enlightenment; Gesta Romanorum; Boccaccio; Lessing; toleration and tolerance; Kaufringer; ethics and law meaning of the humanities; meaning of literature today; the Middle Ages; Enlightenment; Gesta Romanorum; Boccaccio; Lessing; toleration and tolerance; Kaufringer; ethics and law
MDPI and ACS Style

Classen, A. The Meaning of Literature and Literature as Meaning—A Productive Challenge of Modern Times from the Middle Ages. Humanities 2016, 5, 24.

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