The Strange Gospel: Narrative Design and Point of View in John (Biblical Interpretation)

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In this literary analysis of the Gospel of John, Resseguie examines rhetoric, setting, character, and plot to uncover the Gospel’s unique point of view. He shows the usefulness of the concepts of defamiliarization and point of view for understanding how the narrator makes the familiar seem strange. A material, familiar point of view that is voiced by the dominant culture is compared with a defamiliarized, strange point of view that is expressed by Jesus and the disenfranchised. Through close readings of narrative texts, the author develops and elaborates the theological perspective of John, which emerges in the clash of differing points of view.
This work is a suitable introduction to a literary analysis of the Gospel of John. It makes an important contribution to narrative criticism on the Fourth Gospel in particular, and to our understanding of defamiliarization and point of view in general. The book confronts head-on habitualized and familiar ways of thinking in the ancient world and today.

James L. Resseguie, Ph.D. (1978) in New Testemant, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, is J. Russell Bucher Professor of New Testament and formerly Dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Winebrenner Theological Seminary. He has published on Synoptics, John, Russian Formalism, reader-response criticism, and the Bible as Literature.

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