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Indian Poetics (Kāvya Śāstra) and Narratology Towards the Appreciation of Biblical Narrative


G. Ayyaneth

Though the biblical and the Indian literary traditions had independent origin and growth in terms of spatial and cultural milieux, there are literary landscapes of confluence where the literary fabrics of their collective wisdom are interwoven. Both narrative traditions have rich oral and folk prehistoric traditions in their records and this attribute provides a substratum where their narrative patterns and paradigms can find a common ground. A Hebraic reading of the Bible does not exhaust the meaning of the biblical texts; on the other hand, an Indian reading of the Bible could bring more flesh and blood to the living text. Ancient Indian Kāvya Śāstra (Poetics) and its modern rendering narratology being multifarious and mutually integrative will be able to supply a variety of poetical tools and devices with which the great and vast miscellany of biblical narrative can be approached and appreciated. Indian religious tradition is more narrative/story rather than doctrinal or dogmatic. This demands an Indian reading of the Bible endowed with a narratological and synchronic approach to disentangle the biblical narrative from the burden of dogmas and doctrines and to re-launch its primordial narrative/story culture. The application of the canons of Indian Kāvya Śāstra with its narratological elucidations to the biblical narrative has categorically proved that it can open up a new horizon to an Indian reading of the Bible. Various such narrative approaches, heuristic devices and models thus evolved have been applied to selected narratives in the Davidic Episode of the Books of Samuel.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Bijimon, Ayyanethu Malayil Jose, author. Title: Indian poetics (Kāvya Śāstra) and narratology towards the appreciation of biblical narrative / G. Ayyaneth. Description: New York: Peter Lang, [2016] Series: Studies in biblical literature; vol. 165 | ISSN 1089-0645 Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2015038808 | ISBN 978-1-4331-3295-7 (hardcover: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4539-1767-1 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-3614-6 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-3615-3 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Bible—Criticism, interpretation, etc.—India. Bible—Criticism, Narrative. | Narration in the Bible. | Poetics. Classification: LCC BS511.3.B623 2016 | DDC 220.6/6—dc23 LC record available at

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

This book is the revised Ph.D. thesis of Ayyanethu Malayil Jose Bijimon (Fr. George Ayyaneth OIC) alias G. Ayyaneth, titled “BIBLICAL NARRATIVE (OT) FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF ANCIENT INDIAN KĀVYA ŚĀSTRA [A Literary Investigation into the Extent of the Ancient Indian Kāvya Śāstra (Poetics) in the Appreciation of the Biblical Narrative (OT) with Special Reference to the Davidic Episode in the Books of Samuel]”, guided by Prof. Dr. Philippe Lefebvre O.P., submitted at the Faculty of Theology, Department of Biblical Studies, University of Fribourg, Switzerland on 1 May 2013 and defended on 19 September 2013. Chapter Two of the thesis had a thorough editing to exclude the extensive details on Indian literary tradition and to include a study on...

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