The Novelist and the Passion Story

The Novelist and the Passion Story

The Novelist and the Passion Story

The Novelist and the Passion Story

Excerpt

During the course of my visit to Lincoln to deliver the passiontide lectures at the Bishop's Hostel in 1958, I had the opportunity of being present at the performance of the St. Matthew Passion in the Minster. To participate in Bach's interpretation of the Passion through music seems an entirely natural thing to do. Similarly to expose oneself to a great artist's interpretation of the Passion through colour and line and form would also seem a very normal procedure. I am not sure, however, that one would quite so readily turn to a novelist for such an interpretation though it is clear that he, like his fellow artists, has often been fascinated by the critical event of Calvary and has sought, through his story, to disclose its inner meaning to its readers.

In a variety of ways I became interested in the novelist's use of the Passion-story and it seemed to me a theme worthy to be explored within the Lincoln Series. My suggestion was warmly welcomed by the Warden, Dr. Oliver Tomkins (now Bishop of Bristol), and I am deeply indebted to him, to his Staff and to the Students for their ready interest in what I had to report from my own adventures into unfamiliar territory. I still recall with great pleasure my discussions with those whom I

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