More Information
ISBN: 9781839732157
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 17
Publication Date: 31/07/2021
Pages: 320
Language: English

Focalization in the Old Testament Narratives with Specific Examples from the Book of Ruth

£24.99

Since Gérard Genette first coined the term in 1972, focalization has been recognized as one ofthe key concepts in contemporary understandings of narrative. However, in the field of biblical studies, the concept has been largely overlooked. Dr. Konstantin Nazarov seeks to rectify this oversight, exploring the implications of focalization on Old Testament narratology. Utilizing the work of Wolf Schmid and Valeri Tjupa to develop his methodology – and examining the book of Ruth as a case study – Nazarov demonstrates the value of focalization in furthering the appreciation and understanding of biblical texts.

This is an excellent resource for students of narratology, biblical studies scholars, or anyone seeking to better understand the narratives of Scripture.

Author Bios

Konstantin Nazarov
(By)

KONSTANTIN NAZAROV has a PhD in Biblical Studies from the University of Chester, UK. He is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at TCM International Institute, Sattelbach, Austria, as well as the director of the Apostle Paul Evangelical Christian Centre, Moscow, Russia, where he supervizes the publishing of Christian literature for church leaders.

Endorsements

The literary turn in interpreting Old Testament narratives has brought great insight. Yet, important methodological gaps remain. In this enlightening study, Konstantin Nazarov shows the importance of focalization, demonstrating its value in his reading of Ruth and filling a methodological gap. This important study deserves to be widely read and studied.

David G. Firth, PhD
Old Testament Tutor and Academic Dean,
Trinity College Bristol, UK


This work can indeed be considered as innovative. The author sets himself a rather difficult task: to expand the boundaries of the application of narratological theory and to consider the concept of focalization, which is traditionally used to study contemporary fictional texts in relation to the Old Testament narratives. He also further studies the very idea of focalization, laying a theoretical foundation for this heuristic concept. To do so, he first gives a broader definition of the concept of focalization. Then, based on the latest developments in narratology, he creates a methodology that allows applying the concept of focalization to any texts, including the Old Testament narratives. Worth noting is the author’s desire to show the applicability of his model on a fairly large corpus of narratological material. Thus, the book will be useful both for those who engage in research in general narratology and those who wish to expand their horizons in the field of research of biblical narratives. The work will undoubtedly contribute to the development of dialogue between these disciplines and will affect further research on this topic.

Wolf Schmid, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Slavic Literary Studies,
University of Hamburg, Germany

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Abstract
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Introduction
    1. The Purpose of the Research
    2. Why Focalization?
    3. The Review of the Present Research
    4. The Book of Ruth
    5. Expected Contributions
  5. Chapter 1: What Is Focalization?
    1. 1.1. Overview of Genette’s Book
    2. 1.2. Regrettable Confusion
    3. 1.3. Definition of the Term
    4. 1.4. Examples of Zero Focalization
    5. 1.5. Examples of Internal Focalization
    6. 1.6. Examples of External Focalization
    7. 1.7. Boundaries between Different Types of Focalization
    8. 1.8. Shifts in Focalization
    9. 1.9. Conclusion
  6. Chapter 2: Focalization in Old Testament Narratology
    1. 2.1. Robert Alter
    2. 2.2. Shimon Bar-Efrat
    3. 2.3. Adele Berlin
    4. 2.4. Meir Sternberg
    5. 2.5. Jean Louis Ska
    6. 2.6. Jerome Walsh
    7. 2.7. Gary Yamasaki
    8. 2.8. Conclusion
  7. Chapter 3: Evolution of the Notion of Focalization
    1. 3.1. Mieke Bal (1981)
    2. 3.2. Boris Uspensky (1970) / Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan (1983)
      1. 3.2.1. Uspensky (1970)
      2. 3.2.2. Rimmon-Kenan (1983)
      3.3. Preliminary Conclusions
    3. 3.4. Minor Development of the Concept of Focalization in 1990s and 2000s
      1. 3.4.1. William F. Edmiston (1991)
      2. 3.4.2. Patrick O’Neill (1994)
      3. 3.4.3. Ruth Ronen (1994)
      4. 3.4.4. Manfred Jahn (1996, 1999, 2005)
      5. 3.4.5. Essays on Fiction and Perspective (2004)
      6. 3.4.6. Point of View, Perspective, Focalization (2009)
      7. 3.4.7. Living Book of Narratology (2011)
      3.5. Wolf Schmid (2005, 2010)
    4. 3.6. Valeri Tjupa (2016)
    5. 3.7. Methodology of Studying Focalization in Old Testament Narratives
      1. 3.7.1. From Genette to Schmid
      2. 3.7.2. The Outline of the Research
  8. Chapter 4: Focalization on the Level of Selection of Narrative Information
    1. 4.1. Allocation of Episodes in the Book of Ruth
    2. 4.2. Intentionality of Events
      1. 4.2.1. The Imperatives and the Convictions of the Narrator of the Book of Ruth
      2. 4.2.2. The First Event of the Book of Ruth
      3. 4.2.3. The Second Event of the Book of Ruth
      4. 4.2.4. The Third Event of the Book of Ruth
      5. 4.2.5. The Fourth Event of the Book of Ruth
      6. 4.2.6. Conclusion
    3. 4.3. The Eventfulness of the Prologue and the Denouement of the Story
      1. 4.3.1. Prologue – the Event Preceding the Story Proper
      2. 4.3.2. The Eventfulness of the Denouement
    4. 4.4. The Eventfulness of the Episodes of the Main Story
      1. 4.4.1. Relevance
      2. 4.4.2. Unpredictability
      3. 4.4.3. Persistence
      4. 4.4.4. Irreversibility
      5. 4.4.5. Non-Iterativity
      6. 4.4.6. Conclusion
    5. 4.5. Conclusion of Chapter 4
  9. Chapter 5: Focalization on the Level of Composition
    1. 5.1. The Woman Was Left Alone (1:1–22)
      1. 5.1.1. Historical Perspective in the Prologue (1:1)
      2. 5.1.2. Restriction of Perspective in the Prologue
      3. 5.1.3. The Beginning of the Journey (1:6–7)
      4. 5.1.4. Dialogue between Naomi and Her Daughters-in-Law (1:8–14)
      5. 5.1.5. The Decisions of Orpah and Ruth (1:14)
      6. 5.1.6. Dialogue between Naomi and Ruth (1:15–18)
      7. 5.1.7. Arrival to Bethlehem (1:19–21)
      8. 5.1.8. Summary of Return (1:22)
    2. 5.2. Boaz, a Relative (2:1–19)
      1. 5.2.1. Introduction of Boaz (2:1)
      2. 5.2.2. Dialogue between Ruth and Naomi (2:2)
      3. 5.2.3. Intrusion: Summary of Ruth’s Gleaning before Meeting with Boaz (2:3)
      4. 5.2.4. The Arrival of Boaz (2:4)
      5. 5.2.5. Dialogue between Boaz and Foreman (2:5–7)
      6. 5.2.6. Dialogue between Boaz and Ruth (2:8–13)
      7. 5.2.7. Mealtime (2:14)
      8. 5.2.8. Boaz’s Commands to His Servants (2:15–17)
      9. 5.2.9. Ruth Reports to Naomi about Her Day (2:18–19)
    3. 5.3. Boaz, a Redeemer (2:20–3:11)
      1. 5.3.1. The Horizon of Ruth Expands (2:20–23)
      2. 5.3.2. Naomi Suggests a Plan (3:1–5)
      3. 5.3.3. Ruth Fulfills Naomi’s Plan (3:6–7)
      4. 5.3.4. Exchange at the Threshing Floor (3:8–13)
    4. 5.4. Pelony Almony, a Closer Relative (3:12–4:12)
      1. 5.4.1. The Readers’ Horizon is Expanded for the Second Time (3:11–13)
      2. 5.4.2. Early Wake (3:14–15)
      3. 5.4.3. The Dialogue between Ruth and Naomi (3:16–18)
      4. 5.4.4. Boaz Convenes a Legal Assembly (4:1–2)
      5. 5.4.5. Legal Discussion (4:3–8)
      6. 5.4.6. Decisions and Blessings (4:9–12)
    5. 5.5. Obed as Predecessor of David (4:17b–22)
      1. 5.5.1. Marriage, Conception and Birth of the Son (4:13)
      2. 5.5.2. Naomi and the Women of Bethlehem (4:14–17a)
      3. 5.5.3. Epilogue (4:17–22)
    6. 5.6. Conclusion: Narrative Strategy of the Book of Ruth
  10. Chapter 6: Focalization on the Level of Presentation
    1. 6.1. General Considerations
    2. 6.2. Narrative Function
      1. 6.2.1. Ruth 1:11–12
      2. 6.2.2. Ruth 1:20–21
      3. 6.2.3. Ruth 2:8–9
      4. 6.2.4. Ruth 2:14
      5. 6.2.5. Ruth 2:16
      6. 6.2.6. Ruth 2:21
      7. 6.2.7. Ruth 3:3–4
      8. 6.2.8. Ruth 3:17
      9. 6.2.9. Ruth 4:3–4
      10. 6.2.10. Ruth 4:7
    3. 6.3. Evaluative Function
      1. 6.3.1. Ruth 1:6
      2. 6.3.2. Ruth 1:8
      3. 6.3.3. Ruth 1:13b
      4. 6.3.4. Ruth 1:14
      5. 6.3.5. Ruth 1:15
      6. 6.3.6. Ruth 2:10
      7. 6.3.7. Ruth 2:11–12
      8. 6.3.8. Ruth 2:13
      9. 6.3.9. Ruth 2:20 (with 2:10)
      10. 6.3.10. Ruth 3:9–10
      11. 6.3.11. Ruth 4:9–10
      12. 6.3.12. Ruth 4:11–12
      13. 6.3.13. Ruth 4:14–15
    4. 6.4. Referential Function
      1. 6.4.1. Ruth 1:7
      2. 6.4.2. Ruth 1:22
      3. 6.4.3. Ruth 2:6
      4. 6.4.4. Ruth 2:7
      5. 6.4.5. Ruth 2:17–18
      6. 6.4.6. Ruth 2:19
      7. 6.4.7. Ruth 3:2
      8. 6.4.8. Ruth 3:6
      9. 6.4.9. Ruth 3:13
      10. 6.4.10. Ruth 3:14
      11. 6.4.11. Ruth 3:16
      12. 6.4.12. Ruth 3:18
      13. 6.4.13. Ruth 4:1
      14. 6.4.14. Ruth 4:5
      15. 6.4.15. Ruth 4:17
      16. 6.4.16. Ruth 4:17–22
    5. 6.5. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 7: Conclusion
    1. The Results of the Research
    2. Original Contribution
    3. Doors for Further Study
  12. Glossary
  13. Bibliography

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