From Arcadia to Mount Zion
Story telling is as old as civilization, and there is no tribal folk so primitive that they lack a body of traditional stories which are recited on occasion by their wise men, their magic workers, their old men and women, or their young warriors and lovers. Over the course of time primitive stories settle into forms and modes, which scholars name and define for us as types. The intervening story is actually a story of the road, in design not too unlike others of its type, but differing in the extreme from them in its elevated purpose, its sober and dignified characters, its symbolic incident, and its intense spiritual seriousness. The story is one of the great allegories, and also one of the most lucid, its allegory following in the main St. Paul’s conception of Christianity as an unending conflict with the forces of the world as well as with those of Hell itself.