Monday, October 14, 2013

Narrative theology is yesterday’s news, the marriage of theology to epistemic and historiographic concerns dating back to the 1970s

The title was only to get your attention! My real concern is more specific. Namely, and at the risk of sounding like a twit, I'm starting to wonder if narrative really is so important for the historian (I know, I know, Ricoeur, Hayden White etc). Certainly it may be useful for certain topics such as narrative identity, the way it shapes memory etc. but I am not sure the historian need to use narrative/discourse for many so-called narrative issues. For example, although causality is implicit in narrative, I do not need narrative to make such connections clear (even if I want cause-effect to work in both directions). Again, narrative focuses on characters, yes, but cannot non-narrative accounts do so, too? A thin description of narrative is inevitable to (all?) historical work, but I am not sure what is gained unless one pushes for a thicker notion of narrative, and then I am not sure if the gains are exclusive to narrative at all (Tucker, Lamarque).

Thinking aloud, here!


At 10/14/2013 8:47 PM, Blogger Keen Reader said...

To which the person in the pew replies, "Huh?"

At 11/11/2013 5:18 AM, Blogger Weekend Fisher said...

So often we see our lives as narratives. To take 'narrative' out of theology means thinking of God apart from his interactions with real people in real lives. The premise "narrative isn't needed" is based on the assumption "events in our lives in this world don't matter".

Or as someone said (was it Pascal?), "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not the God of the philosophers."


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