Original Research

Authorial intention and agency in Luke’s Acts

E. Mkhatshwa
Literator | Vol 31, No 1 | a39 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v31i1.39 | © 2010 E. Mkhatshwa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 July 2010 | Published: 13 July 2010

About the author(s)

E. Mkhatshwa, Department of English, University of Zululand, South Africa

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This article affirms the presence of the intentional consciousness in texts which purport to depict reality or real events. Intentionality, in the context of this article, is not conceived as a pre-existing thought or idea, which precedes the text, but as something which inheres in the text and is produced in it. The Cartesian split between consciousness and being which the former conception enacts is here elided and authorial intention is seen as something which is reproduced in the processes of writing and interpretation. This distinction is significant because the main argument of this article is that authorial intention in texts that purport to depict real events and intervene in a particular socio-historical process for mobilisational purposes, leads to the production of a certain kind of text which deploys specific narrative strategies that consolidate its reading and rendering of events and reinforce narrative closures. These intentionally motivated closures are embedded in narrative strategies, which are seen as both necessary and imperative for the consolidation and legitimation of the message and to foreclose other readings. Very briefly, this article seeks to reinscribe the agency of the author in his/her intentional stance with regard to the text. It further shows how this agency is enacted within the world of the text.


Authorial Intention; Purposive Human Agency; Redemptive Rupture; Providentia Dei; Referential Language


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