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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The recent transdisciplinary focus on the roles stories and storytelling play in cognition, sociality, and identity formation offers productive interpretive lenses through which we might view the work of biblical narrative. This chapter explores the Bible’s narratives as efforts to construct and contest communal identity, to optimize human survival, to cope with cognitive disruption, to effect moral repair, and to create space for social negotiation. Understanding biblical narratives in this light allows us to see more acutely how the Bible’s great aesthetic achievements are grounded in and shaped by the conflicts and desires of past bodies and psyches, and yet continue to provide existential living space for contemporary readers and hearers.

Keywords: biblical narrative, Chronicles, Genesis–Kings, Gospels, intertextuality, Luke-Acts, narrative identity, narrative repair, sociality of stories, trauma

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