Chapter 1 Senses of Ending Chapter 2 Genre as Theology Chapter 3 Narrative Ontology Chapter 4 Epic Chapter 5 Comedy Chapter 6 Tragedy Chapter 7 Gospel as Story
Michael P. Jensen is rector of St. Mark's Darling Point in Sydney, Australia, and teaches theology at Sydney College of Divinity and Australian College of Theology.
Stories belong to various genres, and human identity is story-shaped. Literary theorists and theologians of the late twentieth century got that far. Michael P. Jensen's important book goes further, however, suggesting that literary forms are themselves formative of human being. If genres are sources of the self, it is important to know in what story - and in what kind of story - one is caught up: comedy or tragedy, to name but two. Christian theology maintains that we are caught up in gospel: the story of God's self-communication to a lost world. In a secular age filled with dystopian fiction and drained of transcendent meaning, the Bible tells a story with ontological import that inscribes humanity into the narrative of the divine, namely, the Father's self-giving love poured out in Jesus Christ. Jensen here presents the gospel not only as a great, indeed unique, literary genre but as an existential game-changer for the ages. -- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School