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Characters and Characterization in Luke-Acts

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Overview

Like all skilful authors, the composer of the biblical books of Luke and Acts understood that a good story requires more than a gripping plot—a persuasive narrative also needs well-portrayed, plot-enhancing characters. This book brings together a set of new essays examining characters and characterization in those books from a variety of methodological perspectives.

The essays illustrate how narratological, sociolinguistic, reader-response, feminist, redaction, reception historical, and comparative literature approaches can be fruitfully applied to the question of Luke’s techniques of characterization. Theoretical and methodological discussions are complemented with case studies of specific Lukan characters. Together, the essays reflect the understanding that while many of the literary techniques involved in characterization attest a certain universality, each writer also brings his or her own unique perspective and talent to the portrayal and use of characters, with the result that analysis of a writer’s characters and style of characterization can enhance appreciation of that writer’s work.

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Key Features

  • Focuses on New Testament narratives as literary works with plot, setting, and characters
  • Examines interaction between characters
  • Explores topics of ethics, emotion, discipleship, and the ascension

Contents

Part 1: The Gospel of Luke

  • The Woman Who Crashed Simon’s Party: A Reader-Response Approach to Luke 7:36-50
  • Levi’s Banquet (Lk 5.39-39) and Lukan Discipleship: Group Characters and Christian Identity Formation
  • Zechariah and Gabriel as Thematic Characters: A Narratological Reading of the Beginning of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1.8-20)
  • The Characterization of the Two Brothers in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15.11-32): Their Function and Afterlives
  • A Woman’s Touch: Manual and Emotional Dynamics of Female Characters in Luke’s Gospel
  • The Rich Are the Bad Guys: Lukan Characters and Wealth Ethics
  • A Cognitive Narratological Approach to the Characterization(s) of Zacchaeus

Part 2: The Acts of the Apostles

  • Jesus, Present and/or Absent? The Presence and presentation of Jesus as a Character in the Book of Acts
  • Sight and Spectacle: ‘Seeing’ Paul in the Book of Acts
  • The Characterization of Disciples in Acts: Genre, Method and Quality
  • Sociolinguistic Dynamics and Characterization in the Acts of the Apostles
  • Simeon in Acts 15.14 Simon Peter and Echoes of Simeons Past
  • Herod As Jesus’ Executioner: Possibilities in Lukan Reception and Wirkungsgeschichte

Contributors

  • James L. Resseguie
  • John A. Darr
  • Hannah M. Cocksworth
  • David B. Gowler
  • F. Scott Spencer
  • Cornelis Bennema
  • Joel B. Green
  • Steve Walton
  • Brittany E. Wilson
  • Sean A. Adams
  • Julia A. Snyder
  • Stephen E. Fowl
  • Frank E. Dicken

Praise for the Print Edition

The volume offers a useful primer in possible methods in approaching characterization, with a set of worked examples, along with a useful up-to-date bibliography.

The Expository Times

Product Details

About the Editors

Frank E. Dicken is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Lincoln Christian University, USA.

Julia A. Snyder is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Regensburg, German.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

$19.99

Save $10.00 (33%)
Reg:$29.99

Fully funded - in production