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Title: The quest for the fictional Jesus : Gospel rewrites, Gospel (re)interpretation, and Christological portraits within Jesus novels
Author: Ramey, Margaret E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 6826
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2011
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Jesus' story has been retold in various forms and fashions for centuries. Jesus novels, a subset of the historical fiction genre, are one of the latest means of not only re-imagining the man from Galilee but also of rewriting the canonical Gospels. This thesis explores the Christological portraits constructed in four of those novels while also using the novels to examine the intertextual play of these Gospel rewrites with their Gospel progenitors. Chapter 1 offers a prolegomenon to the act of fictionalizing Jesus that discusses the relationship between the person and his portraits and the hermeneutical circle created by these texts as they both rewrite the Gospels and stimulate a rereading of them. It also establishes the "preposterous" methodology that will be used when reexamining the Gospels "post" reading the novels. Chapters 2 to 5 offer four case studies of "complementing" and "competing" novels and the techniques they use to achieve these aims: Anne Rice's Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt; Neil Boyd's The Hidden Years; Nino Ricci's Testament; and José Saramago's The Gospel according to Jesus Christ. Chapter 6 begins an examination of a specific interpretive circle based upon Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. Beginning with the synoptic accounts of that event, the chapter then turns to how Jesus' testing has been reinterpreted and presented in two of the novels. Returning to the Gospel of Matthew's version of the Temptation, chapter 7 offers a "preposterous" examination of that pericope, which asks novel questions of the text and its role with Matthew's narrative context based on issues raised by the Gospel rewrites. The thesis concludes by suggesting that Jesus novels, already important examples of the reception history of the Gospels, can also play a helpful role in re-interpreting the Gospels themselves.
Supervisor: Longenecker, Bruce W.; Hopps, Gavin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fictional Jesus ; Jesus in novels ; Rewriting ; Gospel rewrites ; Fictionalizations of the New Testament ; Fictionalizing the New Testament ; Jesus in popular culture ; Intertextuality ; Gospel interpretation history ; Matthew 4:1-11 ; Matthew 27 ; Temptation ; Crucifixion ; Passion narrative ; Preposterous interpretation ; Preposterous readings ; Anne Rice ; Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt ; Neil Boyd ; The Hidden Years ; Nino Ricci ; Testament ; Jose Saramago ; The Gospel according to Jesus Christ ; Jesus novels ; Jesus in historical fiction ; New Testament in literature ; Literature and theology ; Christological portraits in literature ; Scenes of anticipation of the Passion ; Competing and complementing narratives ; Supplementing and supplanting ; PN57.J47R2 ; Jesus Christ--In literature ; Bible. N.T. Gospels--In literature ; Rice, Anne, 1941- Christ the Lord ; out of Egypt ; Boyd, Neil. Hidden years ; Ricci, Nino. Testament ; Saramago, José. Evangelho segundo Jesus Cristo