Feasting and Social Rhetoric in Luke 14
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of Pages: 236
Width: 14 cm
Height: 21.7 cm
The writer of the Gospel of Luke is a Hellenistic writer who uses conventional modes of narration, characterisation and argumentation to present Jesus in the manner of the familiar figure of the dinner sage. In this original and thought-provoking 1995 study, Willi Braun draws both on social and literary evidence regarding the Greco-Roman elite banquet scene and on ancient prescribed methods of rhetorical composition. He argues that the Pharisaic dinner episode in Luke 14 is a skilfully crafted rhetorical unit in which Jesus presents an argument for Luke's vision of a Christian society. His contention that the point of the episode is directed primarily at the wealthy urban elite, who stand in most need of a transformation of character and values to fit them for membership of this society, points up the way in which gospel writers manipulated the inherited Jesus traditions for the purposes of ideological and social formation of Christian communities.
"An excellent model of one way literary and rhetorical criticisms can be combined in exegetical work." Religious Studies Review "Braun is adept in the various analytical methodologies, both traditional and modern. Social-scientific insights are a comparatively recent addition to the exegetical toolbox for early Christian texts, and Braun uses them deftly. He draws upon a solid store of European and English-language secondary scholarship. His analysis is persuasive, detailed and substantial, but not ponderous. The fact that his prose is vigorous and at times leavened with humor is a bonus in a field that often lacks such stylistic features. This book is highly recommended, particularly for New Testament scholars and researchers into the social history and rhetoric of early Christianity." Novum Testmentum XXXVIII "Braun's book is a welcome addition to interdisciplinary studies of Luke and it provides a provocative illustration of how productive our dialogue can be with first century literary, rhetorical, social and cultural contexts." David B. Gowler, Toronto Journal of Theology "...good theological libraries and students of Luke-Acts will want to have Braun's book available." Robert F. O'Toole, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly "Braun's original arguments and well-reasoned style make for stimulating, and at times exciting, reading." Studies in Religion