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The Model Reader, The Encylopedia And Textual Intention

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents Umberto Eco's theory of the Model Reader, a disciplined, determinative, historical reader-response approach that permits adequate consideration of Matthean narrative dynamics and thus the phenomenon of Matthean allusion. Eco's theory of the Model Reader will thus prove fruitful for investigating the role of Isaac and the Akedah in the Gospel of Matthew. The next step is an excursion into intertextual theory. First, in light of rising interest and developments in intertextual theory since the publication of the original Italian version of Role and in light of Eco's sometimes opaque views on the subject, intertextuality is one area in which Eco's model may benefit from some refining and clarification. Second, this investigation into the possibility of a role for Isaac and the Akedah in the Gospel of Matthew is an exercise in intertextuality, a concept that has occasioned great interest and disquiet in biblical studies in recent years.

Keywords: Akedah; biblical studies; encyclopedia; Gospel of Matthew; intertextual theory; Isaac; Matthean narrative; model reader; textual intention; Umberto Eco



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