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Looking at EXODUS A Narrative Theology. Pentateuchal Studies2 What is Narrative Theology? Narrative theology was a 20th-century theological development.

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Presentation on theme: "Looking at EXODUS A Narrative Theology. Pentateuchal Studies2 What is Narrative Theology? Narrative theology was a 20th-century theological development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Looking at EXODUS A Narrative Theology

2 Pentateuchal Studies2 What is Narrative Theology? Narrative theology was a 20th-century theological development which supported the idea that the Church's use of the Bible should focus on a narrative presentation of the faith, rather than on the exclusive development of a systematic theology. Also referred to as postliberal theology, narrative theology was influenced theologically by Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas.The philosophical influence, however, was Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language, the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, and the sociological insights of Peter Berger on the nature of communities. Narrative theology was a 20th-century theological development which supported the idea that the Church's use of the Bible should focus on a narrative presentation of the faith, rather than on the exclusive development of a systematic theology. Also referred to as postliberal theology, narrative theology was influenced theologically by Karl Barth, Thomas Aquinas.The philosophical influence, however, was Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language, the moral philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, and the sociological insights of Peter Berger on the nature of communities.Biblenarrativesystematic theologyKarl BarthThomas AquinasLudwig WittgensteinAlasdair MacIntyrePeter BergerBiblenarrativesystematic theologyKarl BarthThomas AquinasLudwig WittgensteinAlasdair MacIntyrePeter Berger

3 Pentateuchal Studies3 Exodus as Drama The story of Exodus is high drama at its Hollywood best; involving corrupt kings, heroes who must stand alone, cliff-hanger chapter endings and miraculous denouements… The story of Exodus is high drama at its Hollywood best; involving corrupt kings, heroes who must stand alone, cliff-hanger chapter endings and miraculous denouements…

4 Pentateuchal Studies4 What is the story? The title of the book suggests that its theme is the escape from Egypt, but there is more to Exodus than just redemption. Much of the book is taken up with the Tabernacle which is "no meaningless cultic digression". Splitting it into two we could say that it is about "being saved by God, in order to worship God" but this would not take into account other important themes. The title of the book suggests that its theme is the escape from Egypt, but there is more to Exodus than just redemption. Much of the book is taken up with the Tabernacle which is "no meaningless cultic digression". Splitting it into two we could say that it is about "being saved by God, in order to worship God" but this would not take into account other important themes.

5 Pentateuchal Studies5 Some theories of central purpose Fretheim avers that Exodus is "shaped in a decisive way by a creation theology. This illuminates a vital connection with the early chapters of Genesis. Fretheim avers that Exodus is "shaped in a decisive way by a creation theology. This illuminates a vital connection with the early chapters of Genesis. Durham has also organised his commentary around a central principle, that of Yahweh's Presence. Presence is a key theme in the text at vital moments. Occasionally however, the material is stretched to fit these theories. Durham has also organised his commentary around a central principle, that of Yahweh's Presence. Presence is a key theme in the text at vital moments. Occasionally however, the material is stretched to fit these theories. Knight suggests "revelation" as the theme and Alexander, "knowing God through personal experience." Knight suggests "revelation" as the theme and Alexander, "knowing God through personal experience." These statements take into account the multivalence of the book and are able to absorb important sub-themes. These statements take into account the multivalence of the book and are able to absorb important sub-themes.

6 Pentateuchal Studies6 Clines: Covenant The vital clue however comes from Clines: Exodus is concerned with the relational aspect of the Patriarchal promises. The vital clue however comes from Clines: Exodus is concerned with the relational aspect of the Patriarchal promises. Exodus does not stand alone but within the canonical context of the Pentateuch. It develops the relationship through which God will achieve his creation (or covenantal purposes. Sometimes the relationship is expressed as a blessing, sometimes as a "being with" or guidance, sometimes as a continuance of God's relationship with former Patriarchs. Exodus does not stand alone but within the canonical context of the Pentateuch. It develops the relationship through which God will achieve his creation (or covenantal purposes. Sometimes the relationship is expressed as a blessing, sometimes as a "being with" or guidance, sometimes as a continuance of God's relationship with former Patriarchs. Exodus 19:3-8 (a key text however one sees the book as a whole) brings out this theme very clearly. Exodus 19:3-8 (a key text however one sees the book as a whole) brings out this theme very clearly.

7 Pentateuchal Studies7 Summary of narratological purpose The narrative of Exodus (and of the whole book, including its other genres) is primarily concerned with the development of God's relationship with his people, through whom he plans to achieve his creation purposes. The narrative of Exodus (and of the whole book, including its other genres) is primarily concerned with the development of God's relationship with his people, through whom he plans to achieve his creation purposes.

8 Pentateuchal Studies8 Major Chapters The Birth and Call of Moses The Birth and Call of Moses Moses and Gods Call Moses and Gods Call Moses Confrontations with Pharaoh Moses Confrontations with Pharaoh The Ten Plagues The Ten Plagues The Passover and Exodus from Egypt The Passover and Exodus from Egypt Wilderness Time: The Law and the Golden Calf Wilderness Time: The Law and the Golden Calf The Glorious Descent of Yahweh to the Tabernacle The Glorious Descent of Yahweh to the Tabernacle

9 Pentateuchal Studies9 Asking Questions Where is God in Exodus 1? Where is God in Exodus 1? Why are the names of Shiphrah and Puah preserved for us (relatively few names were recorded in Scripture after all)? Why are the names of Shiphrah and Puah preserved for us (relatively few names were recorded in Scripture after all)? How does Moses watery rescue story in Exodus 2 tie in with larger biblical themes involving water? How does Moses watery rescue story in Exodus 2 tie in with larger biblical themes involving water? God gives Moses a sign in Exodus 3, but what good is a sign that will be seen only AFTER the exodus is complete? (The sign God gave Moses was that after he had taken the people out of Egypt, they would worship on that mountain where the burning bush was. But by then Moses would not NEED a sign!) God gives Moses a sign in Exodus 3, but what good is a sign that will be seen only AFTER the exodus is complete? (The sign God gave Moses was that after he had taken the people out of Egypt, they would worship on that mountain where the burning bush was. But by then Moses would not NEED a sign!)

10 Pentateuchal Studies10 More questions Dont skip Exodus 4: what is going on in this bizarre chapter!? Dont skip Exodus 4: what is going on in this bizarre chapter!? Why is Pharaohs initial line in Exodus 5 so key to not just Exodus but the whole Bible? Why is Pharaohs initial line in Exodus 5 so key to not just Exodus but the whole Bible? Why is a family tree plunked into the middle of Exodus 6? Why is a family tree plunked into the middle of Exodus 6? The Ten Plagues are more than just a side show. How are these events related to Genesis? To all of Scripture? The Ten Plagues are more than just a side show. How are these events related to Genesis? To all of Scripture? Why does becoming the people of God have to include a wilderness time? Why does becoming the people of God have to include a wilderness time? What accounts for Moses going from a stuttering, weak-kneed figure in so much of Exodus to the champion of his people who challenges Yahweh so directly in Exodus 32-33? What accounts for Moses going from a stuttering, weak-kneed figure in so much of Exodus to the champion of his people who challenges Yahweh so directly in Exodus 32-33?

11 Pentateuchal Studies11 God in relationship… Selected references to the concept of a God-Israel relationship in Exodus: Selected references to the concept of a God-Israel relationship in Exodus: Blessing 1:7; 3:21; 20:24; 23:25; 32:29 Blessing 1:7; 3:21; 20:24; 23:25; 32:29 Presence/Guidance 3:12; 13:17-22; 24:10; 33:14; 40:34 Presence/Guidance 3:12; 13:17-22; 24:10; 33:14; 40:34 Knowing/Fearing God 6:7; 10:2; 14:31; 16:12; 29:46 Knowing/Fearing God 6:7; 10:2; 14:31; 16:12; 29:46 Covenant/Continuance of Patriarchal relationship 2:24; 4:5; 24:8; 34:27 Covenant/Continuance of Patriarchal relationship 2:24; 4:5; 24:8; 34:27 Worshipping 4:31; 7:16; 12:27; 23:25; 33:10 Worshipping 4:31; 7:16; 12:27; 23:25; 33:10 Israel are God's people 3:7; 7:4; 18:1; 22:25; 33:13 Israel are God's people 3:7; 7:4; 18:1; 22:25; 33:13

12 Pentateuchal Studies12 Books on Narrative Theology The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter (1981, ISBN X) The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter (1981, ISBN X)ISBN XISBN X The Gospel in Parable: Metaphor, Narrative, and Theology in the Synoptic Gospels by John R. Donahue (1990, ISBN ) The Gospel in Parable: Metaphor, Narrative, and Theology in the Synoptic Gospels by John R. Donahue (1990, ISBN ) ISBN ISBN The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative : A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics by Hans Frei (1980, ISBN ) The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative : A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics by Hans Frei (1980, ISBN )ISBN ISBN Theology and Narrative: A Critical Introduction by Michael Goldberg (1982, ISBN ) Theology and Narrative: A Critical Introduction by Michael Goldberg (1982, ISBN )ISBN ISBN A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas (1981, ISBN ) A Community of Character by Stanley Hauerwas (1981, ISBN )Stanley HauerwasISBN Stanley HauerwasISBN Paul Among the Postliberals by Douglas Harink (2003, ISBN X) Paul Among the Postliberals by Douglas Harink (2003, ISBN X)ISBN XISBN X Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching edited by Joel Green & Michael Pasquarello (2003, ISBN ) Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching edited by Joel Green & Michael Pasquarello (2003, ISBN )ISBN ISBN Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology, edited by Stanley Hauerwas & L. Gregory Jones (1989, ISBN ) Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology, edited by Stanley Hauerwas & L. Gregory Jones (1989, ISBN )Stanley HauerwasISBN Stanley HauerwasISBN Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony by Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon (1989, ISBN ) Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony by Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon (1989, ISBN )Stanley HauerwasWilliam WillimonISBN Stanley HauerwasWilliam WillimonISBN Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America by Stanley Hauerwas (1993, ISBN ) Unleashing the Scripture: Freeing the Bible from Captivity to America by Stanley Hauerwas (1993, ISBN )Stanley HauerwasISBN Stanley HauerwasISBN Women and the Authority of Scripture: A Narrative Approach by Sarah Heaner Lancaster (2002, ISBN X) Women and the Authority of Scripture: A Narrative Approach by Sarah Heaner Lancaster (2002, ISBN X)ISBN XISBN X The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age by George Lindbeck (1984, ISBN ISBN ) The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age by George Lindbeck (1984, ISBN ISBN )ISBN ISBN The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology and Biblical Narrative by Michael Lodahl (1994, ISBN ) The Story of God: Wesleyan Theology and Biblical Narrative by Michael Lodahl (1994, ISBN )ISBN ISBN The Use and Abuse of the Bible: A Study of the Bible in an Age of Rapid Cultural Change by Dennis Nineham, (1976, ISBN ) The Use and Abuse of the Bible: A Study of the Bible in an Age of Rapid Cultural Change by Dennis Nineham, (1976, ISBN )ISBN ISBN The Promise of Narrative Theology: Recovering the Gospel in the Church by George W. Stroup (1997, ISBN ) The Promise of Narrative Theology: Recovering the Gospel in the Church by George W. Stroup (1997, ISBN )ISBN ISBN The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder (1972, ISBN ) The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder (1972, ISBN )John Howard YoderISBN John Howard YoderISBN Transforming Postliberal Theology by C.C. Pecknold (2005, ISBN ) Transforming Postliberal Theology by C.C. Pecknold (2005, ISBN )ISBN ISBN


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