Aug 29, 2010

Three Potential Contributions of Narrative Criticism

A few days ago I posted a definition of narrative criticism from James Resseguie’s book Narrative Criticism of the New Testament. Resseguie goes onto identify three potential contributions that narrative criticism can offer for reading texts.

1. “Narrative criticism views the text as a whole . . . it avoids the fragmentation of the text associated with various forms of historical criticism.”

2. Narrative criticism examines the complexities and nuances of a text through close readings. Literary critics read biblical literature as literature. The narrative critic attends to the nuances and interrelationships of texts: its structure, rhetorical strategies, character development, arresting imagery, setting, point of view, and symbolism, to name a few.”

3. Narrative criticism emphasizes the effects of a narrative on the reader . . . Since narrative criticism analyzes the narrative point of view, it can describe the text’s effects upon a reader.”

James Resseguie, Narrative Criticism in the New Testament: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Baker, 20905), 38–40.

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