When considering the correspondence theory of truth in Christianity and Literature: Philosophical Foundations and Critical Practice (Christian Worldview Integration Series. InterVarsity Press. 2011), David Lyle Jeffrey and Gregory Maillet refer to John Updike’s Seven Stanzas at Easter (1960).* Enjoy this excerpt from a “bold, wonderfully learned manifesto … [which] breathes a prophetic passion — bracing, salutary and sometimes uncomfortable — that transcends mere academic discussion and leaves the reader interrogated as well as taught.” (Dennis Danielson, Professor of English, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Milton. Accessed 4/19/2011 at http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/review/code=2817).
Historically, the predominant way of looking at truth is the one that occurs first to common sense.Â According to the correspondence theory of truth, a verbal claim is true only if it corresponds to pertinent fact or external reality.20 If there is no correspondence (e.g., if I claim that the sky is falling and some of my students run outside to check and confirm, sensibly, this it is not), the claim is evidently false at the literal level.Â On this view, if a speaker or writer claims that the earth is flat or that it will come to a catastrophic end in Y2K (A.D. 200) or that drinking a certain beverage will make us irresistible to the opposite sex, there are ways to investigate the veracity of each claim.
Even when we account for variance in the way people see things, this theory tends to apply to most situations quite serviceably.Â In each case of this sort, actuality (or as we might say, reality) takes precedence and is indispensable to the claims made regarding it, as well as the plausibility of inferences that may be drawn or actions recommended in consequence.Â In a famous example from the New Testament, St. Paul insists that if Christ did not literally rise from the dead, then all discussions of the event and our faith in it are meaningless and a waste of time (1 Cor 15:12-20). The poetic commentary of John Updike in his “Seven Stanzas at Easter” (1960) is thus historically and logically on the mark when he says [Read more…] about Correspondence theory & Updike’s “Seven Stanzas of Easter”