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Literary Genres

Literary Genres Religion Study Guide

Genre A category or type of literature (or of art, music, etc.) characterized by a particular form, style, or content.
Gospel Proclamation of the "good news" about Jesus intended to establish and/or strengthen people’s faith in him a portrait of the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus.
Acts of the Apostles A partial narrative account about the beginnings & the growth of early Christianity; it focuses on the actions of a few missionary leaders (especially Peter, Paul and Barnabas)
Letters Real writings addressing practical & theological issues relevant to particular communities/cities (most were written by Paul)
Pastoral Epistle One of three New Testament letters including two addressed to Timothy and one to Titus that give advice on matters of Church government and discipline.
General Letters Another name for the Catholic Letters which were written by a specific person to a wider audience instead of to a particular individual or community.
Church Orders A collections of instructions for the practical organization of religious ommunities (such as 1 Timothy)
Homily A sermon that cites and interprets biblical texts in reference to Jesus.
Sermon on the Mount An ethical discourse delivered by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 5-7. It contains a summary of Jesus’ teachings.
Wisdom Collection A collection of general instructions on how to live well an ethical Christian life (James)
Epistles A stylized work in letter format; each is written either to individuals, communities or to Christians in general.
Apocalypse A vividly symbolic narrative that "reveals" God’s views about an historical crisis, in order to provide encouragement for a difficult time in the present, and a hope for a better future (Book of revelation)
Parable A metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life and told in a simple story or riddle; it uses comparisons to teach a moral or lesson.
Hymn A song of praise or thanksgiving, especially to God.
Didactic Narrative A longer piece of writing intended to instruct in moral areas.
Allegory A literary or pictorial device in which each literal character, object or event represents a symbol illustrating an idea, a moral or religious principle.
Creed A formal statement of religious belief or confession of faith.
Elegy A poem or song composed especially as a lament for one who is dead.
Lament To mourn out loud; it refers to a song or poem expressing grief for some situation.
Law The body of principles or precepts held to express the divine will, especially as revealed in the Bible.
Liturgy The established form for a public religious service or ritual.
Prophecy The inspired utterance of someone who gives a declaration of divine will.
Canticle A liturgical song found in the Bible such as Mary’s Magnificat.
Synoptic Viewing the first three gospels from the same perspective; the word means "to look at together."
Created by: bynicar
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