History, Biography, and the Genre of Luke-Acts

An Exploration of Literary Divergence in Greek Narrative Discourse


Author: Andrew W. Pitts
Unlike contemporary literary-linguistic configurations of genre, current methodologies for the study of the Gospel genre are designed only to target genre similarities not genre differences. This basic oversight results in the convoluted discussion we witness in Lukan genre study today. Each recent treatment of the genre of Luke-Acts represents a distinct effort to draw parallels between Luke-Acts and a specific (or multiple) literary tradition(s). These studies all underestimate the role of literary divergence in genre analysis, leveraging much—if not, all—of their case on literary proximity. This monograph will show how attention to literary divergence from a number of angles may bring resolution to the increasingly complex discussions of the genre(s) of Luke-Acts.

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Andrew W. Pitts, Ph.D. (McMaster Divinity College), has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in multi-authored works. He is the co-editor of The Language and Literature of the New Testament (Brill) and Christian Origins and Greco-Roman Culture (Brill).
List of Tables and Figures

1 Genre and Method in Luke-Acts Research
 1 The Origins of a Consensus
 2 What Went Wrong?
 3 What is the Solution? ‘New’ Genre Studies as a Way Forward
 4 Genre Agnation and the ‘New’ Genre Studies
 5 Typological Agnation Analysis: Assessing Genre Differences
 6 Topological Analysis: Proximating Genre Likeness
 7 Conceptions of History and Biography in Antiquity
 8 Evolutionary Topology and Genre Proximity
 9 Genre Elasticity and Blurring
 10 Typological Analysis of Greek Historical Genres
 11 Feature Clines and Genre Analysis: a Methodological Outline
 12 Linguistic Hierarchy, Macrostructural Analysis, and Macrogenre
 13 Conclusions

2 Identifying Greek History and Biography
 1 What is a ‘Representative’ Corpus and Why is it Important?
 2 Toward a Representative Corpus of the Greek History Genre
 3 Toward a Representative Corpus of the βίος Genre
 4 Corpus Linguistics, Gospel Studies, and Richard Burridge
 5 Conclusions and Implications

3 Topical Focus and Participant Identification
 1 Topical Focus: Activity vs. Entity
 2 Participant Identification: Generic vs. Individualized
 3 Conclusions

4 Frames I: Initiations and Commencements
 1 Initiation: Panoramic vs. Focalized
 2 Commencement: Event- vs. Participant-Driven
 3 Conclusions

5 Frames II: Self-Identification and Genealogies
 1 Self-Identification: Biographical vs. Nonbiographical
 2 Genealogies: Staged vs. Embedded
 3 Conclusions

6 Time Management and Authentication Strategies
 1 Time Management: Episodic Time vs. Field Time
 2 Authentication Strategy: Bounded vs. Unbounded
 3 Conclusions

7 The Genre of Luke-Acts
 1 The Enigma
 2 Bringing Lukan Genre Studies Up-to-Date
 3 Agnating the Greek History and the βίος
 4 What Genre is Luke-Acts? Micro and Macrogenre Reconsidered
 5 The Literary Unity of Luke-Acts
 6 Conclusion
 Primary Sources and Critical Editions
 Secondary Sources
All interested in the study of Luke-Acts, Greek history, Greek biography and Greco-Roman literary culture.