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Narrative Dynamics in Paul: A Critical Assessment Paperback – October 30, 2002
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Over the last few decades, significant parts of Pauline scholarship have drawn enthusiastically from the field of literary theory, resulting in an increased amount of attention being given to the evocative ways in which Paul’s language engages with and alludes to earlier biblical narratives, among other things.
Narrative Elements in Paul
In the introduction of Narrative Dynamics in Paul: A Critical Assessment, Bruce Longenecker (the volume’s editor) points to Richard B. Hays as the most important pioneer of the narrative approach (p.5). In his influential 1983 work, The Faith of Jesus Christ, Hays explored the “narrative substructure” of Galatians 3:1-4:11. According to Longenecker, Hays’ work, by centering on narrative elements and “the story of Jesus as a generating feature of Paul’s theology… put the issue of narrative contours explicitly on the agenda of Pauline study” (p.6). What does the term “narrative substructure” mean? Longenecker explains:
For Hays, a narrative substructure is not ‘behind’ the text, detachable from it, but ‘beneath’ the text, undergirding it, supporting it, animating it, and giving it coherence, while also constraining its discursive options. (p.6)
A couple of years after Hays’ book came out, N.T. Wright released The New Testament and the People of God, the first volume of his mammoth-sized series “Christian Origins and the Question of God.Read more ›