The textual pendulum

Oren Soffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A comparison of the dominating perceptions of the relationship between text and knowledge in the Middle Ages, the modern era, and the postmodern era reveals a fundamental shift of attitude. This article describes this shift metaphorically as a pendulum: From intra/ intertextual study in the Middle Ages (when texts contained divine truth within themselves and in relation to other texts), to an extratextual methodology in the modern era (in which texts reflected objective reality), and back to postmodernist intra/intertextualism (in which texts do not reflect a doubtful objective reality but instead cloaked social constructions). The author posits that surprising similarities exist between the intra/intertextual cultures of the Middle Ages and the postmodern era and offers some explanations for these similarities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-291
Number of pages26
JournalCommunication Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes


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