Hearing Mark’s Endings has two foci: it represents an attempt to show that ancient popular texts are written to be read aloud, and further, develops an aurally attuned hermeneutic to interpret them by.
The contents of the book include rhetorical readings of the ancient popular texts, by Xenophon of Ephesus: An Ephesian Tale, and the ending of Mark’s Gospel. These readings, which highlight the aural nature of the texts, are followed by a methodological justification for using Speech Act Theory as a hermeneutical tool, and further readings, of Xenophon’s romance, and three endings of the Gospel of Mark. The book concludes that Speech Act Theory has, indeed, much to offer to the interpretation of these texts.
The particular usefulness of this work lies in the contribution it makes to New Testament hermeneutics, in the testing of a particular, underused methodology to illuminate ancient popular literature. It will prove to be useful to all those interested in interdisciplinary methodological studies of biblical and other ancient popular literature.
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