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John 20:11-18: An exegesis through art and text

McCarthy, Angela (2013) John 20:11-18: An exegesis through art and text. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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This study comes from the desire to work with both the text of a chosen pericope from the Gospel of John and images from paintings based on that pericope. In Chapter 1 the context of both the gospel text and the medieval artworks is outlined so that each can be presented in a ‘precritical’ or ‘prefigured’ way.

The method had to include different layers of interpretation as the original response to the artworks in situ and a faith-filled knowledge of the pericope placed the researcher in a precritical situation. Once it became clear that different layers were required, the work of Ricoeur became a fruitful starting point. Stiver’s work in clarifying Ricoeur’s philosophical underpinnings gave shape to the research process itself and resulted in a clear format.

Chapter 3 gives the exegetical analysis of John 20:11-18. An understanding of the concept of resurrection, the empty tomb and the Easter appearances lays the foundation for the exegesis of the pericope itself. Some initial focus on the narrative is followed by the inclusion of the work of biblical commentators who are expert in this particular Gospel.

Chapter 4 works similarly to configure the artworks. Using an historical approach that soundly grounds them in their context of medieval Italy, followed by an art analysis of each work, the exegetical process helped to gain a deeper understanding of the works themselves and how they contribute to a visual theology that can be interpreted over time.

Chapter 5 uses the material of Chapters 3 and 4 to refigure the interpretation of the text and artworks through a hermeneutic of faith. By combining the original faith response to the text and artwork with the information provided through exegesis, it moves to a transformed interpretation of the resurrection.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Supervisor: Dunnill, John
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