The hero pattern and the life of Jesus: the Qur'anic version

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study attempts to apply the hero pattern theory to the life of Jesus as profiled in the Qur'an. The hero pattern theory has gained wide acceptance in folklore scholarship. It has also generated a lot of controversy. The argument of this theory is that the biographies of folk-heroes tend to follow a certain pattern. Of course, some scholars challenge the validity of this assertion. Even those who accept this assertion do not seem to agree on the nature of that pattern. Lord Raglan, whose pattern we use in this study, charted out a 22 incident pattern. He applied it to many heroes of tradition and his findings indicated that their life stories did conform to the hero pattern. Raglan concluded that those narratives were mythical even if the hero they described was historical. Alan Dundes applied Raglan's sheme to the life of Jesus as narrated in the Bible and found that Jesus' biography conformed to the pattern. Dundes further attempted a psychoanalytic interpretation of Jesus' profile. This work attempts to show that the life of Jesus as narrated in the Qur'an does not seem to conform to Raglan's hero pattern. This work also tries to suggest that Dundes's interpretation which was based on the biblical account may not be relevant to the Qur'anic version.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF BP134.J34N4)
Jesus christ in the Koran, Biography, History and criticism, Heroes pattern theory Reglan, Lord
Njozi, H.M (1989) The hero pattern and the life of Jesus: the Qur'anic version, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam