By Tom Thatcher, Stephen D. Moore
Reflecting at the twenty-fifth anniversary of Alan Culpepper's milestone "Anatomy of the Fourth Gospel" (1983), "Anatomies of Narrative feedback" explores present developments within the research of the Gospel of John as literature. The participants to the amount symbolize quite a lot of methodological techniques that each one discover ways in which modern readers generate that means from John's tale of Jesus. The booklet contains an creation to narrative-critical stories of John; essays on particular topics and passages that target interpretation of the textual content, background of study, hermeneutical methods, and destiny developments in learn; and, a reflective reaction from Alan Culpepper. total, the booklet seeks to track the historical past and venture the way forward for the examine of the Bible as narrative.
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Additional info for Anatomies of Narrative Criticism: The Past, Present, and Futures of the Fourth Gospel as Literature (Resources for Biblical Study)
36 Plot and character thus intertwine in the larger scheme of John’s rhetorical purposes. “Through characterization, … various responses to Jesus, and indeed to the gospel itself, are held up for the reader’s scrutiny while his or her judgment is gently swayed toward the evangelist’s perspective” (1983, 146). A convenient example of the interface between plot and character in the Fourth Gospel may be taken from Culpepper’s reading of Mary Magdalene. Mary appears only twice in the Gospel of John, but each occasion is a critical moment in the plot: she witnesses Jesus’ death and resurrection and 35.
Further, one can easily imagine any number of instances where the gaps in a narrative are so many and so large that the majority of the total content of a discourse is actually supplied by the reader. Fortunately, “the audience’s capacity to supply plausible details is virtually limitless” (Chatman 1978, 29)—John’s readers can easily imagine, on the basis of their own knowledge and experience, what Jesus was doing in the decades before his ministry began. But what of those readers whose perspective is quite different from that of the implied author of a given text?
Culpepper’s discussion of the Fourth Gospel’s plot and techniques of characterization will be briefly summarized here to illustrate the ingenuity of his conclusions. Plot and characterization are explicitly 31. Chatman defined the “narrator” as the “person or presence … actually telling the story to an audience, no matter how minimally evoked his voice or the audience’s listening ear” (1978, 33–34). 32. Culpepper supported this claim by arguing, primarily on the basis of John 21:23– 25, that the implied author of the Gospel of John is the Beloved Disciple and that the narrator “is presented as a member of the group (‘we’) which knows that the testimony of the Beloved Disciple is true” (1983, 43–48, here 47).