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Christ ChildCultural Memories of a Young Jesus$
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Stephen J. Davis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300149456

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300149456.001.0001

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Texts and Readers

Texts and Readers

(p.20) 2 Texts and Readers
Christ Child

Stephen J. Davis

Yale University Press

Chapter 2 turns to the textual history of the “Childhood Deeds.” The first half identifies problems related to our conceptions of how texts functioned in the ancient world and the way that modern assumptions about textual unities, titles, and genre have constrained scholars in their engagement with this set of infancy stories. This analysis offers a more textured account of ancient reading practices as involving a complex intersection of written texts and oral performance. The second half of the chapter then traces the history and formation of the “Childhood Deeds” as a text, beginning with its early oral and written transmission in the form of individual literary units or story types, and continuing with the editing and collection of those stories into a larger narrative schema. This analysis is grounded in the close examination of two kinds of evidence: the witness of manuscripts and the history of external citation.

Keywords:   Texts, Readers, Orality, Manuscripts, Citation

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