Luke’s Gospel and Greco-Roman Panegyrics: The Sermon on the Plain (LK 6:20-49) in its Social Context

Ndekha, Louis W. (2020) Luke’s Gospel and Greco-Roman Panegyrics: The Sermon on the Plain (LK 6:20-49) in its Social Context. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/RP76BS28

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11308 Ndekha, Louis W. (2020) Luke’s Gospel and Greco-Roman Panegyrics The Sermon on the Plain (LK 620-49) in its Social Context_ PhD Thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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The dissertation argues that the Sermon on the Plain is best interpreted from the perspective of the Greco-Roman paradigm of praise and blame. In the first chapter, the dissertation outlines the historical challenges in the interpretation of the Sermon and proposes panegyric praise and blame as a plausible framework for its reading. In the second chapter, the thesis argues that Greco-Roman makarisms and woes have their context in praise and blame. The (established) affinities between Greco-Roman and Lucan makarisms and woes, therefore, provide a basis for interpreting the latter from the perspective of praise and blame. The third chapter takes up the analysis of the function of praise and blame in the Greco-Roman context. It argues that in the Greco-Roman world, panegyrics served, inter alia, in the integration of victors and the re-enforcement of community values. These core functions provide the methodological framework for the interpretation of the Sermon. In chapter 4 the thesis demonstrates how the different layers of communication in the Sermon, its conception of community and communion, and the presentation of riches and poverty reflect its Greco-Roman context. At the heart of the discussion is the question of Greco-Roman conception of power and powerlessness (embedded in poverty and riches) which had implications for identity and social interactions between the rich and poor in the Lucan churches. Therefore, in the exegesis of the Sermon in chapter 5, the study identifies the integration of catechumens and the re-enforcement of the value of κοινωνία as the major thrust of the Sermon. In chapter 6 the dissertation traces the paradigm of praise and blame across the Gospel. It argues that the praise of God and Jesus' magnanimity on the one hand, and Jesus' praise and blame of generosity and stinginess, respectively, on the other, demonstrates the rhetorical role of the praise and blame in the Gospel. Finally, since a panegyric reading of the Sermon implies a community reading of the text, such an approach has implications on the Gospel community debate. Therefore, in chapter 7, using old and new evidence from both primary and secondary sources, the dissertation argues for the local audience thesis as the most plausible reading of the Gospels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Additional Information: Kirby Laing Scholarship Programme
Uncontrolled Keywords: Gospel of Luke; Sermon on the Plain; Greco-Roman concepts of praise and blame
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creatives
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 09:33
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:54

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