World Literature Test One Study Guide

Opposition to studying literature
1. Isolation
2. Integration

-Avoid anything unholy
-Why read anything but bible?

Strength: concern for sanctification
Weakness: impossible
1. To do (John 17:11 in the world) (not of the world)
2. To achieve sanctification (col 2:20-23)

Leads to monastic disinterest in culture

“All truth is God’s truth”–Can learn apart from the bible
-Seeks to balance “general revelation’ with “special revelation”

-Concern for transforming culture

-Compromise both secular/bible

-Separation of Secular and sacred: work/church
Study/bible study

-Fails to see the connection between the two

-Neither isolation or integration
-Clear conscience- ignorance

-Don’t know how to live Christian life

Nature of sin
There is nothing that is intrinsically sinful
Romans 14:14 “Nothing is unclean in itself
14:20 “Everything is indeed clean”

Titus 1:15 “To the pure all things are pure, to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure”

Temptations do not come from an object
-They come from our desire (James 1:14)
Hebrews 2:18, 4:15

Why study literature?
-Value of popular culture
–Practical knowledge
—-Wisdom (as well as folly) is found in the agora (marketplace) Proverbs 8-9
——Prophetic function: social critique
Titus 1:12 Paul quotes Epimenides (Pagan poet) and calls him a prophet

Sympathetic understanding of human struggles (1 Peter 3:15)

Application of Mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:14-16)
We have the mind of Christ

Development of Spiritual muscles (Hebrews 5:13-14)
-Solid food is for the mature

How do We Approach Literature
-Critical discernment (1 Thes 5:21)
-We must examine literature in the light of the scriptures (1 Cor. 2:15)
1. How close does it come to the truth?
2. How far does it fall short of the truth?
3. Note “truth” = the nature and the works of God and His Creation as revealed in scripture

Sanctified Enjoyment (Phil 4:8)
-Can’t enjoy something unless we find out what is indeed true/pure/just/lovely etc

The nature and works of God and His Creation as revealed in scripture

Historical Context: Enlightenment (1660-1770)
-Renaissance led to reformation
-Cultural revolution because Europe found literature, people started to read bible.

-Reformation led to:
1. De-centering of central political authority
2. Burden of relationship with God was placed back on individual. RCC lost power.

Need: Re-establishment of the center

-“Age of Reason”- during this time the human mind was elevated to the place that the church had lost.
-Elevation of mind
-Learning sought in the Greco-Roman (Neo-Classics)
-Emphasis on correctness (form) and moderation
—-Art/lit followed certain form. Reasoning had to be logical.

Key Enlightenment Figures: Rene Descartes
-Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
–Pre Cursor of the Enlightenment thinking
—“I think therefore I am” (cogito, ergo sum)
—” Indubitable” foundation in the human ability to think.

Key Enlightenment Figures: Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton (1643-1727)
-Universal and invariant law of nature
-“Nature and Nature’s law lay hidden in night.

God Said let there be Newton. And all was light (Alexander Pope’s poem)

Effects of Enlightenment: Political
Effects of Enlightenment: Political
–American (1775-1783)
French (1789-1779)- Get rid of tradition
—-Problem: Can say we are equal, but don’t act that way.

Effects of Enlightenment: Industrial
Effects of Enlightenment: Industrial (18lth C England)
-Result: Fuel important- coal mines needed, children used in mines.

Effects of Enlightenment: Religious
Effects of Enlightenment: Religious
-Secularization- People left religion

-Rationalistic religion (deism)- clock God

-Art “delight and Instruct”
–Enjoy but need moral lesson too

Effects of Enlightenment: Art
-Art “delight and Instruct”
–Enjoy but need moral lesson too

-Formalism (Neo classicalism)

Goethe Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832)
–Man of letters: poet, dramatist, novelist and autobiographer

-Statesman: Practiced law and served as diplomat


-Influenced by Johann Gotfried Herder
-“Storm and Stress movement”
-Revolt against established (Neo-classical) standards
-No rules in storm

-Based on legend of Faust
–Christopher Marlowe’s Docter Faust (1588)
–Faust seeks knowledge
-Bored with science, dabbles in magic

Goethe’s Faust:
-Seeks experience

Enlightenment= Knowledge
Romanticism= Experience

2 Parts
1. Individual; Gretchen
2. Social; Helen of Troy

-Individual experience left Faust miserable, so went after social experience, also didn’t work (? need to check)

Historical Context: From Enlightenment to Romanticism
Romanticism: 19th C
-Reaction against Enlightenment (17-18th C)

-Emphasis on
1. Individual/particular
2. Nature: primitive/untamed
3. Creativity/Emotion/Passion

Faust: Prologue
-Scene in heaven
–Patterned after Job 1 and 2
–Unfathomable nature of God

Mephisto’s View of Humanity
–“Small god”-humans Genesis 3- eat and be like God
-Tree of Knowledge of good and evil
-You will be like God (3:5)
-Humans established selves agaisnt god by making selves like God.

–(mis) user of “reason”
-Knowledge = power/control
-Humans became an independent source of determining what is good and evil apart from God.

Overview of Faust Book 1
-Failure of the Enlightenment: Faust’s Misery

-Hope in Romanticism: Faust’s Bargain

-Peril of the Romanticism: Faust’s Experiences

-Failure of the Romanticism: Gretchen’s Demise

Failure of the Enlightenment
-Limitations of knowledge
—Does not make
2. Provide delight
3. Make one rich


Spiritual Scheme
God Lofty/Exalted Spirit
^ -Eternal
| -Creative
| -Can be summoned through magic
| -Not subject to human
v -Romantic spirit

Problems of the Enlightenment
-Two aspects of science (Before the City Gate 240-298)

-Only the healed can testify

o Paul Feyerabend “How to defend society against science”
– Against method
-Against result -Science done harm as well as good. Harmed can’t testify

John 1:1
“In the beginning was”
o Word
-Something that stands between human and “reality”
-Not immediate

o Mind
-Cartesian cogito that Faust rejected
-This is what enlightenment would say
–But mind does not make Faust happy

o Force
-Occultic power

o Act
-Experience! – This is Faust’s desire

Mephisto’s Bargain
o Mephisto’s nature
–Evil that brings out good (158-159)
—The spirit that negates (161)
—– No brings out yes

o Mephisto’s offer
– Heightening of senses (259 ff.)
-Broadening of experiences (142 ff. pg 712)

-When Faust satisfied -taken to devil

Faust’s Curses (58 ff.) (9 of them)
o Esteem

o Dream – Not real

o Fame

o Possessions

o Money

o Wine

o Love

o Hope and Faith


Nature of Romantic Experience
o Seeking immediate gratification (212 ff)
-Reference to John 1:1 translation
-“Word” requires suspension of desire
(Romantic seek immediate gratification)

o Forgetting the eternal (131 ff.)
— “Under the Sun” perspective in Eccl.

o Ignoring the consequence (163 ff)
(sin is pleasure for the moment only)

University of Mephisto
Mephisto gives take on disciplines

o Logic
-Logic reduces and classifies
-Eventually leads to death (407-8)

o Metaphysics (philosophy)
-Nothing more than memorization of writing

o Jurisprudence (law)
– Oppression of nature

o Theology
– Pharmakon – Medicine and poison at same time
(Usually become arrogant when study theology)

o Medicine
-Getting a degree to take advantage of patient

* Nothing is worthwhile for Mephisto

Summary so Far
o Problems of the Enlightenment
-Futility of salvation through human knowledge
-Epistemological (1 Cor. 2:21)
-Ontological (Gen 3:5)

(It is not good to be like God when you are not God. Apart from God you become some of Good and Evil)

o Practical: Pharmakon (1 Cor 8:1)
-Knowledge puffs up

o Impossibility of attaining “higher” knowledge (sublime)
-Knowledge that goes beyond common use
-Terrible- Nature is terrible, or can be

(Enlightenment limited, people move to romanticism)

-Move to Romanticism (Experience! Live!)
-Not ideal alternative
-Different problems and perils (Witch’s Kitchen)

Auerbach’s wine Cellar
o Lesson on true versus fake (Romantic) experience
– Wine produces temporal delusion of freedom
– Songs produce temporal illusion of joy
– Being controlled by Satan without knowing it

o Ephesians 5:18-19
-Be filled w/ the spirit not spirits

(Meph offers fake experience of Romanticism)

Witch’s Kitchen
o Physical Rejuvenation
-Can be achieved through simple living (15-24)
–Requires PATIENCE and limits experience (35)

Witch’s Arithmetic
o Meaningless series of numbers
o Doctrine of trinity
-Non-logical: Violates law of non-contradiction
-Revelatory: (Matthew 16:17)
(can’t understand w/out God)

o Faust’s obsession
-Image of Helen of Troy
“Helen of Tory in every mind”
(Potion will help Faust see beauty in all women)

Gretchen (Street)
o Her attraction
-Not her status
-Not her physical beauty
-But her innocence

o His reaction
– Desire beyond immediate gratification of lust

– Nature of love
—Eros: possessive, taking (only one that Meph understands)

—Agape: Giving

—Philia: reciprocal, receiving, love of friendship (Romantic’s desire)

Final Condemnation of the Enlightenment
o Scholarship as a lie

o Experience is superior to wisdom

Loss of Innocence (Gretchen’s mom)
o Innocence when experienced loses its innocence (flower cut)

o Loss of peace

o Pain

Faust’s Theology (Martha’s Garden)
o No faith
– Does not condemn church but he has no personal faith
– Religion is ritualistic- No meaning behind it.

o Ritualistic

o No personal god (Pantheistic)
– No name
– Feeling

o No Christianity

Degenerating Pattern of Sin—James 1:15
“Desire when conceived gives birth to sin”

o Conception (At the well)

o Birth (Night)

o Death

o Accusation (cathedral)

Walpurgis Night
o Legend
– Spring Fest on May 1st
-Celebration of St. Walpurgis
-Mixed w/ Pagan festival
-Gathering of witches to meet the devil of Brocken

o Scene
-Walpurgis night
-Encounter w/ demonic characters

o Walpurgis Nights Dream
-Play within the play (escapism)

o Shakespearean
(Inspired by: A Midnight Summer’s Dream and Tempest)

Significance of Walpurgis Night
o Escape
-From reality
(Meph says leave reality alone)

– Failure of the Romanticism
-Consequence of the failure

o Into the world of entertainment
-Sensory confusion
-Sexual perversion
-Novelty – Something new and different

o Forgetting
-Note the time lapse between this scene and the next

o Dismal Day 8
-( One year between Walpurgis night and now- Gretchen drowns baby put in prison)

– Meph entertaining Faust
-Faust accuses Meph of deceiving

Demonic Characters
o Will-o-wisp
– Ignis Fatuus
– Symbol of misguided path

o Mammon
– Personification of money and greed

o Baubo
– Demeter’s nurse
(Demeter= Persophenes mother)
Baubo makes Demeter laugh
– Vulgarity and obscenity

o Huckster- Witch
– Shopping

o Lilith (1st wife w/ Adam, became ghost when Eve came)
–Fornication and adultry

o Proktophantasmist
– Rhump- ghostler
(If ill, had bad blood. Dr. drain blood w/ leeches on rhump)

o Charactertures of Friedrich Nicolai
-Contemporary of Goethe
-Defender of Enlightenment
-Opposed storm and stress movement and Goethe

Romantic Dilemma
-Search for the lost (prelapsarian) innocence

– Once the innocent is experienced it is no longer innocent

– Nature and culture (flower in Dungeon)
– Surrogate nature (virtual reality)
(we can have fake and not deal w/ reality, but we prefer reality)
-Desire for the real