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In this response essay, which culminates with an application of my theory of narrative empathy to the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I comment on an article by Cornelis Bennema and engage with the ideas in the framing, introductory essay by Jan Rüggemeier and Elizabeth E. Shively. In the course of carrying out these tasks, I also offer what I hope will be broadly useful comments on fictional and nonfictional contexts for character construction, on characters and characterization, and on the way diverse actual readers engage with characters. This essay concludes with some thoughts on narrative empathy, responding to the final section of Rüggemeier and Shively’s essay, which offers comprehensive overview of empathy and sympathy as aspects of emotional reading.

Open Access
In: Biblical Interpretation