What Is Narrative Criticism?

What Is Narrative Criticism?

What Is Narrative Criticism?

What Is Narrative Criticism?

Synopsis

The first nontechnical description of the principles and procedures of narrative criticism. Written for students' and pastors' use in their own exegesis. With great clarity Powell outlines the principles and procedures that narrative critics follow in exegesis of gospel texts and explains concepts such as "point of view," "narration," "irony," and "symbolism." Chapters are devoted to each of the three principal elements of narrative: events, characters, and settings; and case studies are provided to illustrate how the method is applied in each instance. The book concludes with an honest appraisal of the contribution that narrative criticism makes, a consideration of objections that have been raised against the use of this method, and a discussion of the hermeneutical implications this method raises for the church.

Excerpt

This volume on narrative criticism continues the program of this series, which has been to focus on issues that are relatively broad and formal rather than on one or a few specific texts. That has not meant that practical interpretation has not been used to exemplify the categories under discussion, and so in this volume also the interpretive applications of the critical principles to particular texts are often both relatively lengthy and very illuminating. The previous volumes in the series to which this one bears the closest relationships are Beardslee, Literary Criticism of the New Testament; Petersen, Literary Criticism for New Testament Critics; and Patte, Structural Exegesis for New Testament Critics.

Professor Powell helpfully clarifies the distinction between literary criticism and several modes (source, form, and redaction) of historical criticism and also distinguishes several types of literary criticism (structuralist, rhetorical, reader-response, and narrative). He then goes on to describe, analyze, and illustrate the categories that narrative criticism employs—implied author and reader, narrator, characters, events, settings, and so forth.

Duke Divinity School . . .

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