College of Arts and Sciences




New Historicism, evangelicals, Bible, biblical interpretation, Bible as literature, Stephen Greenblatt, Catherine Gallagher, literary theory


The twentieth century has seen a rise in recognizing the Bible not only as historical or theological work but also as a piece of literature, and the natural progression of this idea is to apply the same methods used for literary texts to the biblical text. However, many movements in literary studies seem antithetical to evangelical ideas of interpretation, as the goal of evangelical interpretation is always to find God’s intended meaning for the text. This thesis will explore the features of one literary theory, New Historicism, as presented in Practicing New Historicism, and ask if this theory can be made compatible with evangelical presuppositions, or even offer any unique insights for biblical interpretation.