had a nice email from Perkins the other day asking me to join the panel for the Religious Studies Review which had just published the first review of my book, The Prologue of John's Gospel: A Sequential Reading. Here's it is:
Phillips' slightly revised and interesting Sheffield dissertation, supervised by Loveday Alexander, offers a sequential reading of John 1:1-18, as opposed to a paragrammatic reading that traditionally involves "comparing and contrasting contexts, reading backwards and forwards…" (22). Methodological chapters draw on literary theories about Gospel beginnings and sequential disclosure (chapters 1, 2); rhetorical prooimia and dramatic prologues (chapter 3); sociolinguistic theories regarding antilanguage and speech accommodation theory (chapter 4); intertextuality and the term Logos (chapter 5). These disparate approaches are carefully interrelated so that they each illuminate the same thing: sequential disclosure. Chapter 6 offers a sequential reading of the Prologue, demonstrating how it instructs one in Johannine language and thereby invites one into the Johannine community. The jargon is not an obstacle, and with so much theory in play, this reflects careful effort. The nuanced blend of methods is also welcome. It remains to be seen if what works well in the Prologue will work for the rest of the Gospel, which seems to demand paragrammatic reading.
Not bad - I must get round to writing the sequential study of the rest of John to show how destructive paragrammatic readings are...although perhaps even sequential readings are really paragrammatic!!! Ha! Thanks to George Parsenios from Princeton for the review...