Canonicity

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Bettina Vaamonde
Canonicity by Wendell V. Harris
There are multiple definitions of canon and multiple canons exist, because there are many ways of defining literary canon.Nevertheless, there are two main definitions. The first is to view canon as a group of literary work that is considered the most important of a particular time period. The second one impliesthat literary canon refers to its religious validity, entailing that the canonized works are recognized by the church. In addition, it must be taken into account that within thedefinition of canon, it remains of a basis of judgment, standard and critic. For this reason, whether a work can be consider as canon or not remains a subjective decision.

Due to thefact that the popularity of a literary work can be based not only on the quality, but also on the relevance of its subject matter to historical context, it exist multiple lists ofliteracy canons that differ widely, and which are furthermore, constantly changing. Moreover, as people’s thoughts constantly change, literary work may move in and out of interest.Consequently, over time, literary canons may be added or subtracted from the canon.

Additionally, there are many ways in which literary works can be classified. Harris Wendellclassifies them in six categories. The potential canon, which includes all literature, the accessible canon, which is the part of the potential canon that is available, the selective canons,such as anthologies, the official canons, which are a blending of the other ones, the critical canons, which incorporates those texts repeatedly treated in articles or books, and thepersonal canons, with are the choices of individual readers. Nevertheless, the Bible doesn’t fit in this classification. Therefore, Biblical books are regarded as a different kind.
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