Journal article

How do Motifs Endure and Perform? Motif Theory for the Study of Biblical Narratives

Published in:
  • Revue Biblique. - 2015, vol. 122, no. 2, p. 194-216
English Motifs are often confused with and overshadowed by themes. This article argues for the unique identity, functions, and rhetorical force of motifs. Synchronically, motifs are recurrent performers having progressive and cumulative force in a singular narrative. They often build on and acquire strength diachronically through motifs within a given literary tradition. Literary theory on motifs is supplemented here through the intertextual and performative values of motifs as a part of three phases of narrative writing and experience: emplotment, plot, and explotment. Thus, these interrelated aspects of motifs show how they survive through time, reappearing and performing in narratives. A discussion on the motif of light in Luke-Acts demonstrates the value of this approach.
Faculté de théologie
Département d'Etudes bibliques
  • English
Religion, theology
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