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A cultural-literary reading of Luke’s Parables

Bidnell, David Roger (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This inquiry combines consideration of the Context Group’s emphases regarding the honour and shame culture of first-century Palestine with careful analysis of ten narrative parables of Luke’s Jesus in order to allow the proposed cultural setting to form an appropriate background for reading and understanding the stories and, in turn, to use the parables as material for assessing the adequacy or inadequacy of the Context Group’s models. In this way the cultural context is in dialogue with the literary text, the cultural context facilitating a non-anachronistic and non-ethnocentric approach to Luke’s narratives, and the literary text serving as a means to evaluate the stereotypical models often taken as a given starting point for hermeneutical reflection. This exploration demonstrates that the emphasis of each particular Context Group model is often too limited in its scope and frequently at odds with the cultural orientation of the parables, thereby highlighting the value of using the literary text to refine the cultural models in question and to restrict the chances of misleading readings. This study shows how dialogue between social-scientific modelling and careful textual interpretation has the potential to enhance both the understanding of the cultural map and the significance of the written word.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gooder, Paula
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Subjects:BR Christianity
BS The Bible
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3291
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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