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Ancient Fiction and Early Christian Narrative
Ronald F. Hock, J. Bradley Chance, Judith Perkins, Chance
SymS 6
Publication Date
March 2003


This collection of fifteen essays explores ancient fiction and relates it in new and insightful ways to early Christian literature. These essays analyze the precise nature of ancient fiction, investigate individual examples of ancient fiction, such as Charitons Chaereas and Callirhoe, Xenophons Ephesian Tale, and the anonymous Life of Aesop; and illuminate the New Testament Gospels and Letters of Paul, as well as the apocryphal Acts, by comparing this Christian literature with the form and content of ancient fiction.

Contents: The Invention of Fiction , David Konstan The Spectrum of Narrative: Authority of the Author, Gareth Schmeling Pleasurable Reading or Symbols of Power: Religious Themes and Social Context in Chariton, Douglas R. Edwards Focalization in Xenophon of Ephesos Ephesiaka, Kathryn Chew Setting the Stage for Romances: Xenophon of Ephesus and the Ecphrasis, Chris Shea A Nihilist Fabula: Introducing the Life of Aesop, Richard I. Pervo Why New Testament Scholars Should Read Ancient Novels, Ronald F. Hock Secrecy and Recognitions in the Odyssey and Mark: Where Werde Went Wrong, Dennis R. MacDonald Creating Plot in Episodic Narratives: The Life of Aesop and the Gospel of Mark, Whitney Shiner Conceiving the Narrative: Colors in Achilles Tatius and the Gospel of Mark, Charles W. Hedrick Divine Birth and Apparent Parents: The Plot of the Fourth Gospel, Jo-Ann Brant Divine Prognostications and the Movement of Story: An Intertextual Exploration of Xenophons Ephesian Tale and the Acts of the Apostles, J. Bradley Chance "Better to Marry than to Burn": St. Paul and the Greek Novel, Loveday Alexander Reversing Romance? The Acts of Thecla and the Ancient Novel, Melissa Aubin Stories Without Texts and Without Authors: The Problem of Fluidity in Ancient Novelistic Texts and Early Christian Literature, Christine M. Thomas

Ronald F. Hock is Professor of Religion at University of Southern California.