Run, David, Run!: An Investigation of the Theological Speech Acts of David's Departure and Return (2 Samuel 14-20)

Run, David, Run!: An Investigation of the Theological Speech Acts of David's Departure and Return (2 Samuel 14-20)

by Steven T. Mann


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In this book, Steven Mann highlights the role of theology in the story of David’s departure and return as told in 2 Samuel 14–20. Mann’s method of narrative analysis employs a philosophy of language called speech act theory. His primary interest is ways in which speech act theory has been applied to biblical narrative, and he concentrates specifically on speech acts that include theological propositional content, that is, words used to denote God. In this way, Mann analyzes the theological speech acts of the narrative and then suggests a way to view the narrative itself as a speech act.

The thesis of this study is that speech act theory illuminates the integral role of theology in the story of David’s departure and return. Theology is not merely one aspect of the story but is in fact a catalyst necessary to the plot. Furthermore, the act of telling the story as 2 Sam 14–20 does is the very act of portraying David’s faith in Yhwh. David’s speech acts demonstrate that he believes that Yhwh is someone who intervenes and who finds ways to bring his banished ones back to him. The narrative portrayal of David’s faith can be understood as an illocutionary act, with the potential effect of encouraging an audience, a perlocutionary act. In other words, Man demonstrates that this story can inspire any readers who see this narrative as a story not only about David but about themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781575062631
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 04/15/2013
Series: Siphrut Series: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures
Pages: 183
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.25(d)

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. How to Do Things with Theological Words

Chapter 2. An Overview of Perspectives on the Function of 2 Sam 14–20

To Record Historical Events1

To Answer the Question of the Succession to David’s Throne

To Serve a Political Agenda

To Provide a Work of Art

To Portray David

To Teach

A Proposal: To Portray David’s Faith in Yhwh

Chapter 3. Speech Act Theory and David’s Departure and Return

Speech Act Theory

The Application of SAT to Narrative Discourse

Storytelling as Speech Act

Recent Applications of SAT to Stories of King David

An Application of SAT to the Story of David’s Departure and Return

Chapter 4. Theological Words from the Wise

2 Samuel 14:1–23

Storyteller Level

Chapter 5. Theological Words from the Banished

2 Samuel 15:1–22

Words from Absalom: 2 Samuel 15:1–12

Words from Ittai the Gittite: 2 Samuel 15:13–22

Chapter 6. Theological Words from a Banished King

2 Samuel 15:23–37

Words to Zadok: 2 Samuel 15:23–29

Words to Yhwh: 2 Samuel 15:30–37

Chapter 7. Theological Words from Opponents

2 Samuel 16:1–19

Words from Ziba: Opponent of Mephibosheth (2 Sam 16:1–4)

Words from Shimei: An Opponent of David (16:5–15)

Words from Hushai: Opponent to Absalom (16:16–19)

Chapter 8. Words from a Storyteller: 2 Samuel 16:20–17:24

Chapter 9. Words for the Return of a King: 2 Samuel 17:25–20:25

Chapter 10. David’s Departure and Return as Illocutionary and Perlocutionary Act

Telling a Story that Portrays David’s Faith: An Illocutionary Act

Running with David: A Perlocutionary Act

Select Bibliography


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