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Title: The reception history and interpretation of the New Testament portrayals of Joseph the carpenter in nativity and infancy portrayals in early Christian and early medieval narratives and art from the second-cenury to the ninth century CE
Author: Jacobs, Philip Walker
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis undertakes the task of tracing and documenting the development of the Wirkungsgeschichte of the portrayals of Joseph in the canonic gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, within early Christian and early medieval narratives and art between the period of approximately 150 CE and 800 CE. After providing an initial review of the current state of scholarly research into the subject of the development of the Wirkungsgeschichte of the canonical portrayals of Joseph in Part I, this study then provides a detailed reading, by means of literary and narrative analysis, of the portrayals of Joseph in Matthew, Luke, and John in Part 11. The thesis then traces and documents the development of these earlier portrayals of Joseph in four non-canonic narratives, the Infancy Gospel of James, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the History of Joseph the Carpenter, and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and in eighteen works of art, in Parts III and IV . IIJ the process of this analysis several different concerns are addressed. These include: the date, provenance, purpose, and content of the various narratives and compositions; the characterization of Joseph they portray; the independence and distinctiveness these later literary and artistic representations of Joseph exhibit from earlier canonic and non-canonic literary referents and prior artistic creations of Joseph; and the different perceptions and beliefs narrators and artists and their respective ecclesiastical communities held with regard to Joseph. At the same time, consideration is given to the prospect of patterns or trajectories that might emerge as the review occurs. Attention to the development of this in the four non-canonic narratives leads to the discovery of the presence of two trajectories - one that affirms, enhances, and continues the positive narrative portrayals of Joseph found in the canonic literature (and is found to be present in two of these texts); the other that diminishes these portrayals (and is found to be present in the other two texts).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available