Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Religion > Christian > Bible

An Analysis of the Narrative Extension Methods in The Gospel

Author LiZhiDan
Tutor LiangGong
School Henan University
Course Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords Narrative Unfold Gospels Narrative Perspective The Analects of Confucius
CLC B971
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Gospel is regarded both as a Christian classic and a genius narrative text. A narrative analysis of theGospel is of great necessity. However, the number of related studies is rather small. This article, based onformer researchers’ studies, carries on the narrative study of Gospel to a deeper level.This thesis is altogether composed of four parts. Introduction elaborates on the status quo of Gospelnarrative studies, the significance of the topic and the research methodology, aiming at laying down thedemonstration base for this article.Chapter one focuses on the four narrative unfolding styles of the Four Gospels. Gospel of Markunfolds the story by the realization of prophesy; Gospel of Matthew develops itself by the dual narration ofthe son of man and the son of god; Gospel of Luke carries out the narration through clear writing awarenessand Gospel of John moves forward along with the articulation of Christology. The stories in Gospel, in linewith their different implications, fall into the following six categories: miracle-performing story, curingstory, evangelical story, debating story, suffering story and side witness story. This article, with the mannerof literal text reading, unveils the unfolding characteristics of each story. To cite a few examples, themiracle-performing story develops by showcasing the exact time, characters, actions and locations, whichdisplays some similarity with the narrative method of biography; the curing story progresses by thesequential appearance of patients, disease, requests and Jesus at last, which prepares Jesus Christ’s laterpreaching; the evangelical story starts by expressing Jesus Christ and other people’s education needs, whichsimply introduces the story-telling background; debating story begins with the challenges of Jesus’opponents and Jesus’ presence, focusing on the conflict of the two opposite perspectives; Suffering storyunfolds the narration by the words of Jesus’ opponents in order to highlight their negative image; sidewitness story extends with the actions and words of Jesus’ followers, which illustrates the realness of Jesus’stories.Chapter two analyzes the narrative development by examining the relationship between narrator andJesus. The Gospel stories, according to whether or not there is any fusion between narrator’s perspectiveand Jesus’ angle, can be divided into stories which themes narrator’s alienation from Jesus and storiesthemes narrator’s being illuminated by Jesus. Chapter three, on the basis of comparing Gospel with The Analects of Confucius in terms of theirequal status as the golden doctrines in Christianity and Confucianism, the similarity of their core ideas andtheir structural similarity, further studies the similar narrative unfolding methods: starting by the characters’actions or by preaching and question-taking. This thesis, through the comparison between Gospel and TheAnalects of Confucius, aims to figure out the similarity between classical oriental religious narration andclassical occidental religious narration: the narrative conciseness of religious literature, which aims atspreading specific values by educating and sermonizing. And this characteristic reveals that the narration ofboth classic indeed serves the purpose of preaching.This thesis, on the basis of narratology related theories, mainly explores the narrative structure ofGospel which was delicately built up for the preaching purpose. The narrative extension of Gospel alsoserves clearly for preaching, which gives the whole narrative text a well-balanced structure. What thisthesis emphasizes is a detailed interpretation of the text itself. Narrator’s is revealed by analyzing thespecific dialogues appeared in the text. Both Gospel and The Analects of Confucius adopt direct speeches ofthe saints frequently, therefore, this article pays much more attention to the analysis of the narrativespeeches instead of the characters’ direct speeches. Both the narrative discourse and the narrative unfoldingstyle display the characteristics of conciseness and objectiveness. Combining together, they ultimatelyserver better for the preaching purpose.

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