Franke’s book offers re-actualized readings of representative texts from the Bible, Homer, and Virgil to Augustine and Dante. The selections are linked together in such a way as to propose a general interpretation of knowledge. They emphasize, moreover, a way of articulating the connection of humanities knowledge with what may, in various senses, be called divine revelation. This includes the sort of inspiration to which poets since Homer have typically laid claim, as well as that proper to the biblical tradition of revealed religion. The Revelation of Imagination invigorates the ongoing discussion about the value of humanities as a source of enduring knowledge.

This is one of those rare and wonderful books that reflects a lifetime of learning and thinking. It is at once a powerful mediation upon five literary bulwarks of the Western tradition and a philosophical argument about the meaning of world-shaping literature… The Revelation of Imagination amply demonstrates why Homer, the writers of the Bible, Virgil, Augustine, and Dante have been invaluable and inexhaustible conduits for the revelations of the human imagination. There is not a page where William Franke’s ability to enter into the crafting and language of the work he is discussing does not profoundly enrich one’s appreciation of the text. That he is able to take works and writers of whom so much has been written and yet make the reader feel how much more there is still to say and see, how inexhaustibly open these works are, is testimony to the mastery of his craft.”

 —Wayne Cristaudo, The European Legacy


William Franke

Professor of comparative literature and religious studies at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and professor of philosophy and religions at the University of Macao in China.


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