"RETURN TO SENDER": A STRUCTURALIST APPROACH TO JOHN'S GOSPEL MARK W.G. STIBBE University of Sheffield One of the new directions in biblical studies in recent times has been structuralism. I have shown in John as Storyteller how struc- turalist approaches to biblical narrative have gone in three recogniz- able directions (1992: 34-39). The first of these, deriving from Claude L6vi-Strauss, is the binary approach. This approach consists of exposing the binary oppositions in biblical stories, and the degree to which they are mediated. The second direction, deriving from Vladimir Propp, is the functional approach. This approach consists of a general description of the plot functions in a biblical story, fol- lowed by a comparison with other stories which share the same deep structure. The third direction, and the most recent, derives from A.J. Greimas. This is commonly referred to as actantial analysis. In this approach, exegesis consists of mapping a given biblical story against Greimas' universal structure of narrative possibilities. 1. Greimas' Actantial Analysis I have shown in John as Storyteller how the functional approach to stories can be used in a helpful way in the analysis of the literary genres of biblical stories (1992:30-49, 121-147). In this
Biblical Interpretation – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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