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‘Show, Don’t Tell’. The (Ir)rationality of Religious Stories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the rationality of stories in general and that of religious and biblical narratives in particular. Epistemological questions on religion are formulated regarding stories, particularly biblical narratives. The problem of the nature of knowledge claims in narratives is introduced. The chapter concentrates on the history-like character of narratives. The 'principle of fiction', 'show, don't tell', is another important feature of the representation of knowledge in narratives. The chapter also explains why religious stories in general and biblical narratives in particular cannot be considered to have rational structures. When speaking about stories and truth claims it is necessary to distinguish again between historical and fictional narratives. Narrative rationality can be described as the 'logic of the plot' in which the concept of judgment is at the centre.

Keywords: biblical narrative; fictional narrative; history-like character; narrative rationality; religious stories; truth claims



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