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Narrative Theology. A Structural Overview

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Chapter Summary

Theology is on the defensive within modern Western universities. Religion and its practice of religious narration are no longer intellectually respectable since the rise of a methodological change in the 17th century. This chapter argues that René Descartes approaches religious and scientific issues in a slightly dualistic way. Narrative theology shares its distinguishing concept with other disciplines like e.g. narrative psychology, literary criticism, narrative ethics, cultural studies, history and with everyday practice within family life too. Gabriel Fackre distinguishes two types of narrative: an account of events with participants patterned by the narrator's principle of selection and an account of characters and events patterned upon a plot. Narratives have been used for very different purposes in theology. Narrative theology always displays some form of reflective discourse about God in active relation to creatures within the frame of structured stories.

Keywords: cultural studies; Gabriel Fackre; literary criticism; narrative psychology; narrative theology; René Descartes



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