Jin H. Han, "The Role of “an Audience" in Isaac’s Blessing in Genesis 27," 5-10
Isaac’s blessing of Jacob in Gen 27 is narrated as life-changing, and every character in the account recognizes its impact. A close examination, however, reveals that it would fail the felicity test. For example, due to failing eyesight, Isaac could not tell whom he was blessing. Moreover, he was tricked into granting everything to a mistaken recipient. Within the narrative confines, the mise-en-scène that produces a dark comedy features an audience made up of Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau, who relentlessly shore up the event as an irrevocable performative speech act. Battle lines are drawn over the role of the audience.
Matthias Hopf, "Being in between: Canticles as a “Chimera" between Written and Oral Styles of Speech," 11-27
The Song of Songs seems to stand in between the written and the spoken word. On one hand, we find forms of phrasing that have been identified as features of oral language, such as a large variety in the verbal grammar (especially the tendency to avoid consecutive forms and to use various other verbal forms instead) and diverse peculiar ways of phrasing. On the other hand, the Song can hardly be called colloquial in style, but is quite literate (cf. e.g. its poetic elaborateness and lexical richness). Consequentially, we assume that the authors/composers tried to imitate day-to-day speech in order to create a written text in the guise of spoken language.
Sherri Brown, "What’s in an Ending? John 21 and the Performative Force of an Epilogue," 29-42
This paper explores John 21 as a storyteller performs it as an epilogue. A Gospel telling that has beautifully faded to black is picked up again, and a performance critical approach helps to explain this final chapter’s existence as well as how it was intended to be received by audiences. The relationship engendered by Jesus in John 1-20 leaves its community with two commands: to love and to believe. However completely these truths are revealed, living through them as a community can become problematic when members struggle with whom and what to love and to believe. In John 21, the storyteller actualizes the new covenant commands into their lived experience through the performance of this epilogue composed for them.
Lee A. Johnson, "Performance in Corinth: Envisioning Paul's Successful 'Letter of Tears'," 43-59
Despite the claim by most scholars of ancient epistles that a letter-writer was at a distinct disadvantage by relying upon a written word rather than a personal visit, this essay argues that Paul’s success in Corinth was directly tied to his epistolary relationship with the Corinthians. Employing performance criticism, my work focuses upon the undervalued role of Titus in Paul’s letter campaign in Corinth. I show that Titus was involved at all stages in the letter-writing process-from composition to performance of the letter for the Corinthians-and that his ability to present and defend Paul’s message was instrumental in Paul’s success.
Joanna Dewey, "Performance Criticism in Teaching the Gospel of Mark," 61-72
In this article, I argue for the use of performing in class for students to understand performance criticism and deepen their knowledge of a text. Part I addresses pedagogical hurdles for students to perform and discusses differences between narrative and performance criticism, using Holly Hearon's work. Part II suggests that by recognizing the centrality of performance in the ancient world, we must also recognize the fluidity of texts: they were not fixed as we imagine them to have been, but were continually adapted to different situations and audiences. Part III, the bulk of the article, describes how I use performance in teaching Mark. Finally, Part IV briefly explores multimedia presentations using Richard Swanson's work.
Philip Ruge-Jones, "Taking Luke’s Gospel to Heart: Creating a Community of Mercy and Compassion through Biblical Storytelling," 73-88
The process of internalizing and performing biblical texts is essential in performance criticism. This spiritual discipline provides for the religious and ethical formation of both individuals and communities. This article maps out the struggle to take the Gospel of Luke to heart in a concrete community. It demonstrates how this process shapes the character of those who participate in it and equips them to live out Luke’s vision of compassionate mercy in the world. Through this ongoing engagement, the story becomes an expansive dwelling place that houses stories of faith communities from across the globe and throughout time.