Reading for Good: Narrative Theology and Ethics in the Joseph Story From the Perspective of Ricoeur's Hermeneutics

Kok Pharos (1996)
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Abstract

How does a biblical narrative shape the life and action of its readers ? This question is receiving a wide interest in contemporary theology. Reading the 'Bible as literature' has provided a renewed interest in the creation of meaning in biblical narrative. Moreover, there is a current of narrative theology and ethics, which views human life and action as a form of narrative. narrative is approached through the philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. The narrative theory of this hermeneutic philosopher offers the means for comprehending the formative force of narrative, as well as the limits of narrative figuration. Ricoeur's interest in the relation between narrative and ethics and his view of the tensions between text and reader are applied to an interpretation of the biblical Joseph narrative from Genesis. The results of this interpretation are used to treat problems of narrative ethics and narrative theology. similarities between biblical narrative and the narrative of one's life, a narrative does not answer all problems for its readers. As a story of reconciliation and providence the Joseph narrative makes a strigent appeal of transformation to its readers. It is up to the reader to answer this call by reading for good.

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