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Rumors of Resistance

Status Reversals and Hidden Transcripts in the Gospel of Luke

by Amanda C. Miller

Publication Year: 2014

Rumors of Resistance, Amanda C. Miller uses Scott’s theory to explain tensions within the narrative of the Gospel of Luke, between more accommodationist narratives and poetic or parabolic passages that announce a dramatic eschatological reversal (the Magnificat in 1:46-55, the Sermon at Nazareth in 4:16-30, and the Parable of Lazarus and the rich man in 16:19-30). Miller’s use of sociorhetorical analysis leads her to conclude that Luke’s audience would have been challenged to resist the dominant values of Roman imperial culture even as the narrative framework of Luke partially obscures that “transcript.”

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Series: Emerging Scholars

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-x

The focus of Rumors of Resistance, originally my PhD dissertation, grew out of my mutual passions for music, particularly its power to convey both help and hope for a variety of people, and for the Bible and its powerful call to social and spiritual transformation of faith communities and of the world. These twin...


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. 1-24

In the opening chapter of the Gospel of Luke, the evangelist introduces a subversive image—that of a world turned upside down through status reversal—through the words of a surprising character, a sexually compromised, unmarried girl named Mary. This unlikely mother-to-be sings an unlikely song better suited to the celebration of a victorious army than to a private meeting...

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Hidden Transcripts, Models of Empire, and the Gospel of Luke

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pp. 25-64

As outlined in the previous chapter, this project will make extensive use of various models from sociology, anthropology, and political science. Such models, while always in need of contextual specificity,1 provide an important basis for better understanding the world of an ancient text like the Gospel of Luke, which is far removed in time, space, culture, and worldview from the...

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The Context of Luke and His Reading Communities

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pp. 65-88

The author and setting of the Gospel of Luke have been, over the years, notoriously difficult to place. There is general agreement that the author was Hellenistic and urban, but beyond that most discussions of Lukan context tend to conclude with statements such as the following: “As for the place of the composition of the Lucan Gospel, it is really anyone’s guess. . . . In the long...

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Mary, the Magnificat, and the Powers That Be

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pp. 89-132

The Magnificat, or Mary’s song, found in Luke 1:46-55, is the first of several poetic or hymnic texts in the birth narratives of the Third Gospel.1 It is among the most widely studied pericopes in Luke, and a well-beloved staple in the musical repertoire of many Christian traditions. It has also, however, been a favorite rallying cry of revolutionary and dissident groups throughout history,...

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The Nazareth Proclamation: Nuancing Resistance

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pp. 133-196

This text, almost universally acknowledged as “programmatic” in the Gospel of Luke, stands at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, just as Mary’s song stood at the beginning of his life. Both of these texts send a clear message about the identity of Jesus of Nazareth and the mission he is about to fulfill, and both center on images of status reversal. The prominence of these themes...

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The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man: Reversal Now or Later

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pp. 197-250

We move, in this chapter, from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in the Gospel of Luke to its very heart, in the midst of the travel narrative, as Jesus makes his way to Jerusalem followed by friends, seekers, and foes alike. Between the Nazareth proclamation (Luke 4:16-30) and the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (16:19-31), the beatitudes and woes of Luke’s Sermon on the Plain...

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pp. 251-260

We have now considered all three of our chosen status-reversal texts in some detail, specifically through the interrelated spheres of intertextuality, sociological analysis, and contextual interplay. This exploration has proven fruitful on many levels, but most especially it has revealed clear evidence of resistance to the imperial status quo in the Gospel of Luke. The values and...


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pp. 261-280


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pp. 281-284

E-ISBN-13: 9781451484274
E-ISBN-10: 1451484275
Print-ISBN-13: 9781451469356
Print-ISBN-10: 1451469357

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Emerging Scholars