Date of Degree

6-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Comparative Literature

Advisor

Anna Akasoy

Advisor

Paola Ureni

Committee Members

Clare Carroll

Subject Categories

Comparative Literature | History of Philosophy | Medieval Studies

Keywords

Exegesis, Predication, Franciscans, Religious Literature

Abstract

This dissertation explores the notion of prophecy as a semiotic construct in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam on a chronological span that runs from Late Antiquity to the 14th century. It argues that theories of prophecy offer useful insights in the domain of rhetoric and not just in epistemology, as scholarship has predominantly contended. The first two chapters survey the trendsetting work of Augustine, al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, and Maimonides, arguing that their semiotic angle on prophecy depends on a structural affinity with the metaphysical template of emanationism as formulated by Plotinus and Proclus, whose teachings went often misrepresented or dismissed in monotheistic traditions. The final chapter showcases the connection between emanation and prophecy by looking at work of Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, the second father of the Franciscan movement.

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