Author: YU Wensi, Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Liberal Arts, Nankai University
This paper seeks to examine the impact of Paul Ricoeur’s theory of Biblical Narrative on the construction of Jewish national identity. On the basis of this, the author explores the significance of collective human experience in Ricouer’s philosophy. Ricoeur analyzes narrative similarities across Old Testament narratives and explains how human beings construct a collective narrative identity. Besides, through studying the narrative structure, function and identity of Old Testament, Ricoeur presents us how the value of human continuity and historicity has shaped the group identity. This essay focuses on Ricouer’s triple imitation theory and phenomenology, to explore his analysis of the temporal existence of human beings. Ricoeur uses “narrative theology” to analyze, trying to show Ricoeur takes similar forms of narrative expression to show how collective identity depends on the continuation of narrative form for its existence. The paper shows how texts like the Old Testament are filled with imaginative and historical narratives, whose main purpose is to negotiate the conflict between time and existence, to reveal the temporal and special existence of human beings, and point to the limits of human possibilities.
Paul Ricoeur, the Old Testament, Biblical Narrative, group identity
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