Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion (MAR)

Committee Chair

Scott Shauf


The goal of this thesis is, first and foremost, the presentation of the stance of allegorical interpretation and its potential revaluation in a postmodern context (as argued for by Hans Georg Gadamer), giving special consideration to select pre-critical voices and allegorical methodologies that are becoming relevant to this discussion concerning personal, revelatory Truth or Truths. This goal is enriched by the incorporation of pertinent, contemporary (postmodern) perspectives in literary theory that concern the relationship between the world of a text, the world of the individual or society in which that text is interpreted, and any possible or useful allegorical link between the two. Secondarily (and finally), given Gadamer's unique view of Truth and its postmodern relation to pre-critical thought, I ultimately offer the hermeneutical methodology of the Antebellum African American Church (as constructed and articulated by Dwight Hopkins) as an acceptable and appropriate model for interpretive mimesis for those reading communally relevant texts as sources of positive social change and as sources leading to the revelation of personal Truths that disclose the measures, methods, and meanings of being human beings with infinitely complicated contexts.