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Title: Logic loops, metaleptic muddles and the narrating self : how the interior hermeneutics of biblical narrative invite readerly self-involvement
Author: Evans, Chris Joseph
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The focus of this thesis is an examination of the theological significance of moments of metalepsis within biblical narrative. Metalepsis, as defined by narratologists, is the transgression of the normal boundaries between layers of a narrative. Close readings of Job 19:23, Mark 13:14, Luke 16:8 and moments within the Deuteronomic History illustrate the impact of such diegetic muddles, which are also identified in apocalyptic subsummation of the seer, shifts between first and third person narrative voice, and anomalous moments of narrative stage management. These biblical contaminations of narrative thresholds are highly comparable with instances of illusion in visual art, fourth wall breaks in theatre, appeals to the reader in novels and classical apostrophes. They confound the logical separation between spatiotemporal dimensions, lay bare the paradox inherent in representations of the past in the present, and demonstrate the willingness of biblical narrators to include themselves within the frame of their own stories. Hermeneutically, such instances function as a form of narratological self-disclosure and enfold the time of the telling of the story into the horizon of the text. They model and reveal a fundamental supposition pregnant within much biblical narrative – that the world revealed within the text is analogous to or contiguous with the world of the narrator and the reader. Thus, every timeframe conceivable to the narrator is subsumed into biblical representation of reality. Theologically, biblical metalepsis provokes consideration of providence and the meaning of history, of the presence of the divine in the process of reception and of the significance of the self. These themes emerge in the creedal claims of biblical narrators who include themselves within the frame of the text and also assert with assurance the promises of God. In these moments authoritative statements and confessions of the subjectivity of the narrating self are juxtaposed in a model of self-involvement that the reader is invited to reciprocate. The themes outlined above are explored in dialogue with a number of hermeneuticists and theologians including Paul Ricoeur, Søren Kierkegaard and Erich Auerbach, whose explorations of time and narrative, of contemporaneity with Christ and the tyranny of the biblical world view provide context, counterpoint and conceptual background to the notion of readerly self-involvement that is developed throughout this study.
Supervisor: Ticciati, Susannah ; Quash, Jonathan Ben Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available