- Apr 2022
Within the field of semiotic analysis, an open text is one that can be interpreted by readers in a variety of ways. By way of contrast, a closed text prompts the reader to only one interpretation.
Given the definition of an open text (opera aperta), in practice, the Bible may be one of the most open texts ever written despite its more likely original intention of it being a strictly closed text.
What does a spectrum of open to closed look like? Can it be applied to other physical forms that could potentially be open to interpretation? Consider art, for example, which by general nature is far more open to interpretation (an open "text") and rarely are there artworks which are completely closed to a single interpretation.
How does time and changing audiences/publics affect a work? The Bible may have been meant as a closed text in its original historical context, but time and politics have shown it to be one of the most spectacularly open texts ever written.