Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2024

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in English




Dr. Malachi Black


Biblical Literacy and the Creative Mind will explore interpretation tracing the history of English literature back to biblical aspirations and its continued profound influence on Western human perspectives. It will examine the decline in adults reading literary texts and the diminishing number of English majors among prospective students. I am arguing for poetic interpretations over hermeneutic ones, which analyze what is structurally in a sentence to make a reader feel a certain way. I will use the theory of intertextuality, meaning a text comprises the consumption of past texts, to aid my argument. This theory underscores the importance of celebrated and historic texts that form the basis of the Western Canon and why they should be required for readers and writers. I will explore the notion of literary authority, the Bible, and elucidate its profound significance in literature and education. Drawing on specific literary examples, I will explore interpretative engagement with texts, like the concept of close reading, symbolism, and metaphors. Many contemporary undergraduate educations have sidelined these aspects of English literary history. Ultimately, this essay will argue for grounding English literature in a common-sense poetic approach and examine how some theories can rupture the major’s prestige.