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The Experience of GodA Postmodern Response$
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Kevin Hart and Barbara Wall

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225187

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225187.001.0001

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Wisdom of the Heart

Wisdom of the Heart

The Human Encounter with God in Pensées and Moby-Dick

(p.192) 14 Wisdom of the Heart
The Experience of God

Kim Paffenroth

Fordham University Press

This concluding chapter links together Blaise Pascal's Pensées, conceived in the years before his death in 1662 and first edited as late as 1844, and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851) by way of the theme of the “wisdom of the heart”. Our everyday experience is thoroughly mediated by the Bible. We refer ourselves and others to biblical characters, try to live up to them or react against them, while our deeds are oriented to scriptural injunctions, models, and even hermeneutical templates such as allegory and typology. Pascal's experience of God is firmly shaped by the scriptures, while the Bible is in turn marked by the ways in which he frames it. And we can read an entire theology condensed in the pages of Moby-Dick, one whose sense and function are quite different from the orthodoxy that animates Pascal.

Keywords:   God, experience, Blaise Pascal, Pensées, Moby-Dick, Herman Melville, Bible, scriptures, wisdom, human nature

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