Friday, February 10, 2006

Narrative Liberation

David Aune in his recent essay: "Stories of Jesus in the Apocalypse of John" in Contours of Christology in the New Testament, has some delightful things to say about Narrative Discourse.
Stories and descriptions cannot easily be translated into ideas - nor is that translation necessarily even desirable. The meaning of a concrete event, whether in history or in story, is the series of events with which it is causally related, not a supposedly "deeper" allegorical or symbolic reading of the events, characters, and actions that constitute a realistic narrative. [292]
Unless we wish to turn [scripture] into something they are not, it is simply not acceptable to sever meaning from the mutual implications of events in the order of their narration. [293]
The more I read scripture, the more Hays idea of a "narrative substructure" [not saying Hays came up with the idea, that's just where I read it first] resonates with my understanding and conviction. Aune consistently speaks of the "Master Story" but this must also be, aside from what he notes, the story of scripture so far. Theological discourse has far to often resorted to unhelpful philosophical speculation that negates, neglects and forsakes the stories and STORY of scripture. With a return to narrative criticism and discourse, we may see biblical theology unleashed and released from various philosophical agendas that have kept the truth hostage and students in darkness...
Meaning is found in a narrative of relentless grace and embarrassing kindness that has rescued us from the tyranny of propositional programs and awkward speculation. [Jn 8:31, then 32.]

No comments: