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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter chronicles the emergence and consolidation of biblical narrative criticism in the 1970s and 1980s and traces its development down to the present. It details the debts of narrative criticism to Anglo-American New Criticism, on the one hand (a debt exemplified by the work of Robert Alter), and to French structural narratology, on the other hand (a debt exemplified by the work of Adele Berlin, Alan Culpepper, and others). It also describes early alternatives (exemplified by the work of Mieke Bal) to the formalist model of biblical narrative criticism. It then recounts the movement in secular narrative theory from “classical” narratology to “postclassical” narratologies that began in the late 1980s, structural narratology gradually being transformed by such discourses as poststructuralism, feminism, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and cognitive psychology. The final section ponders the possible contours of a postclassical narrative criticism in biblical studies.

Keywords: narrative criticism, narratology, structuralism, postclassical narratology, feminist narratology, poststructuralist narratology, characterization, reader-response, Robert Alter, Mieke Bal

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