New Testament quotation at the reader-author intersection: evoking story for transformation

Nixon, Lyn (2015) New Testament quotation at the reader-author intersection: evoking story for transformation. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology.

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Abstract

Given that a quoting author is first a reader of a text and on the presupposition that communication is both cooperative and dialogical, this study considers quotation from a fresh perspective. Our thesis is that, in many cases, NT quotation of the OT promotes transformation on the lifeworld/worldview level by evoking theological tradition. The first part of the study unpacks the elements of this hypothesis, including: intertextuality and the function of quotation; types of “context”; the author/text/reader interaction and the implied author/reader construct; textual tradition and the relationship of Story to lifeworld/worldview and theology; the evoking of Story and activation of mutual context via quotation; and the resulting transformation of lifeworld/worldview, theology and Story. The methodology we create to explore the transformational nature of quotation frames these elements within a model of communicative interaction based on speech-act theory. Our action model includes the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts of the implied author as well as the illocutionary effect of understanding and the associated perlocutionary effects (responses of belief and/or action) of the implied reader. By holding the author, reader and text in creative tension, we present meaning as cooperative, thus bridging the chasm between authorial intention and reader response. We distinguish three reader roles: (i) an Independent reader ignores the illocutionary and perlocutionary acts, (ii) an Analyst achieves the illocutionary response (understanding) but is either unwilling or unable to respond with an associated perlocutionary effect, and (iii) an Envisager understands the illocutionary act and also responds with an associated perlocutionary effect. Perlocution thus reveals the transformational response of the implied reader as well as the implied author’s intentions for lifeworld/worldview, Story and theology. Making a perlocutionary response associated with the illocution means that an empirical reader moves beyond understanding to transformation. To evaluate the purposes of NT authors and readers in communicative interaction with regard to a specific quotation, we first determine the contribution of the quoted passage and its co-text to lifeworld/worldview, theology and Story and assess what it would mean to be an Envisaging reader of the quoted text. Then we determine whether the NT author uses the quotation to transform the lifeworld/worldview, theology and Story of the NT audience by evoking the theological Story-lines of the source text. Our examples and case studies come from the OT Psalms. The first case study is the quotation of Psalm 115:1a LXX in 2 Corinthians 4:13. We investigate the claim that Paul takes this verse “out of context” and we also consider the contention that Paul reads the psalm messianically. In the second case study, we examine the transformational efforts of various NT authors who quote Psalm 110:1.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 15729
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 01 May 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:33
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/15729

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