Journal Article

Reading as a Little Child: On the <i>Model Reader</i> of the Gospels

Petri Merenlahti

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 2, pages 139-152
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.2.139
Reading as a Little Child: On the Model Reader of the Gospels

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Introduced by Umberto Eco, the semiotic concept of the ‘model reader’ refers to an ideal reader that the literary text anticipates and tries to create. Although a set of strategies and instructions in the text, each model reader hooks onto a particular moment in time and space; reading is a social act that requires adaptation to the language and culture of a particular community. Consequently—and this is the point of this paper—literary and historical approaches are equally indispensable, if we are to read the Early Christian gospels as their model readers would.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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