PG 495: Exploring Biblical Narratives

Home / Modules / Pg-495-exploring-biblical-narratives

Module Level

9 /10 PhD / MTh / STL

Time Allowance

Online meetings (5); preparatory assignments (5); seminar days on campus 16/01/23-19/01/23


Preparatory Assignments (2,000 words in toto) 30%; In-course Seminar Presentation 20%; Final Synthesis Paper (5,000 words) 50%

Module Aims

This module will (1) equip learners with key concepts and tools of narrative methodology [implied authors and readers, character, plot, point of view, the importance of time, timing, order, gaps, and the levels of narration], (2) enable learners to apply these in the narrative analysis of a wide selection of biblical narratives, (3) engage the scholarly community through the secondary literature and position their personal and well supported interpretations of biblical narratives in relation to this community.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore how narratives work including the roles of implied authors and readers and critique the concepts and tools of narrative criticism as defined by a selection of prominent scholars.
  • Convey how texts are actualised by readers and how narrative concepts and tools give access to this process.
  • Apply narrative concepts and tools to a wide selection of biblical texts to elicit the dynamics of the narrative.
  • Draw, through a close reading of the narrative with the above tools and in combination with appropriate secondary reading, insightful perspectives from the text.
  • Provide a summary of the narrative questions that emerge and how they contribute to readers’ appreciation of the potential of the narrative. Present the results clearly in writing.
  • Discern both the fruitfulness of the narrative method and its limitations, and where and how it might fit in combination with other methods towards elucidating the dynamics of the narrative.


  • Marguerat, Daniel and Yvan Bourquin. How to Read Bible Stories: An Introduction to Narrative Criticism. Translated by John Bowden. London: SCM Press, 1999.
  • Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith. Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics. London: Methuen, 1983. Repr., London: Routledge, 2002.