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Say It Again, Sam:

A Literary and Filmic Study of Narrative Repetition in 1 Samuel 28

By Grenville J.R. Kent

Say It Again, Sam

Say It Again, Sam:

A Literary and Filmic Study of Narrative Repetition in 1 Samuel 28

By Grenville J.R. Kent

An analysis of 1 Samuel 28:3–25, showing how film theory can bring insight to our understanding of the structure and significance of biblical narrative.

Trade Information: LPOD
Available as: Paperback, PDF

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Print Paperback

ISBN: 9780718892715

Specifications: 229x153mm (9x6in), 268pp

Published: April 2012


PDF eBook

ISBN: 9780718840686

Specifications: 256pp

Published: May 2012

In recent decades, biblical scholars have often drawn from the wells of literary theory when seeking to better understand the art of biblical narrative. This innovative work adds to these insights by applying film theory to the analysis of story in the Hebrew Bible. Kent argues that film theory helps us to attain much greater clarity in our appreciation of the functions of narrative repetition.

This book offers a synchronic exegesis of Saul's night visit to the witch of En-Dor (1 Sam 28:3–25), focussing on the web of repetitions of visual elements, of symbols, of sounds, of entire scenes, and of keywords. Kent shows how an artistry of repetition and non-repetition helps to build characterization, plot, and structure, as well as prophetic fulfilments, foreshadowing, and inter-textual warnings.

Anyone interested in biblical narrative and the Hebrew Bible will find here new questions and techniques, and a wider repertoire of tools offering fresh understandings.

Foreword by David G. Firth

1. Introduction
2. Repetition in Biblical Narrative
3. Repetition in Literary Theory
4. Forms and Effects of Repetition in Film Theory
5. 1 Samuel 28 in Biblical Studies Research
6. Exegesis of 1 Samuel 28
7. Conclusion

Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index

Grenville J.R. Kent is Lecturer in Old Testament and Arts at Wesley Institute in Sydney. He is co-editor of Reclaiming the Old Testament for Christian Preaching (2010).

[T]his book is an important contribution to Old Testament studies. As an Old Testament scholar with an interest in narrative, and also a film maker, Grenville Kent is well qualified to explore the interface between these disciplines and to show the fruitfulness of bringing them together. David Firth, Series Editor, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries
Drawing from the author's professional and academic expertise, this work offers a rigorous understanding of narrative film studies within Biblical Studies and related theological disciplines. With more and more publications seeking to make use of some form of film appreciation as part of their narrative reflection on theology, this contribution is timely and important and will form an important text for narrative critical studies of both Old and New Testament. Revd Dr Peter Phillips, St John's College, University of Durham
... this text is a valuable contribution to Samuel scholarship. It centers not only on the woman of Endor, but equally on the roles and characterization of Samuel and Saul. It may be focussed on just one chapter but the observations made have corollaries for the reader's understanding of 1 Samuel as a whole. Its use of Hebrew means that it will benefit most an academic audience of tutors and their under/postgraduate students. However, a lay audience will also find the book largely accessible. Deryn Guest, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 20, Issue 1
Kent has provided a thoroughly researched study on the use of repetition in biblical narrative and clearly shown that a greater appreciation of repetition in literary theory and filmic studies can offer substantial insights for the biblical interpreter. Benjamin J.M. Johnson, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, in Theological Book Review , Vol 25, No 1
The subject of Grenville Kent's Say It Again Sam! is repetition in biblical narrative. He deduces from his study that repeating things is a creative way of communicating which helps to build plot, character, and structure. With particular reference to 1 Samuel 28, he makes his case using the theories of narrative film studies to show how approaching this topic differently might help to keep biblical exegesis fresh. Church Times, 30 May 2014