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BN2/3/9018S

Parables and their interpretations: influences on Christian Theology

also offered online as CT2/3/9718S

This unit will explore theological approaches to parables of the Synoptic Gospels, giving particular attention to the hermeneutical qualities identified in parables, such as brevity and paradox, revelation and concealment, metaphorical images, narrative surprise, sense of momentous event and imperative to response. Exploration of the impact of these interpretative qualities on the use of language in Christian theology forms a complementary focus. Selected examples of theological writing that replicate many hermeneutical effects identified with parables will be used in these explorations.

Upon successful completion of this unit (Level 2), it is expected that students will be able to:
  1. Identify and critically evaluate diverse theological approaches to the parables of the Synoptic Gospels;
  2. Critically evaluate parable hermeneutics in contemporary use of language in Christian theology;
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of parable uses in diverse theological and literary contexts;
  4. Formulate critical criteria for evaluating the function of literary genres in the communication of theology.

at level 3 it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically evaluate diverse theological approaches to the parables of the Synoptic Gospels;
  2. Critically evaluate parable hermeneutics in contemporary use of language in Christian theology;
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of parable uses in diverse theological and literary contexts;
  4. Formulate critical criteria for evaluating the function of literary genres in the communication of theology;
  5. Exhibit competence in engaging and interpreting New Testament writings and Christian literature.

and it is expected that postgraduate students will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically evaluate diverse theological approaches to the parables of the Synoptic Gospels;
  2. Critically evaluate parable hermeneutics in contemporary use of language in Christian theology;
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of parable uses in diverse theological and literary contexts;
  4. Formulate critical criteria for evaluating the function of literary genres in the communication of theology;
  5. Exhibit competence in formulating research criteria and methods for engaging New Testament writings and Christian literature.

 

Prerequisites:
If taken as a New Testament unit

BN1001S or equivalent (Level 2); 45 points in Biblical Studies (Level 3); one foundational unit in New Testament for postgraduates.

If taken as a Systematic Theology unit

CT1011 or equivalent (Level 2); 45 points in Systematic Theology (Level 3); one foundational unit in Systematic Theology for postgraduates.

Class time: Three hours per week

Assessment:

intensive mode

second level
Pre-intensive select reading review (1500 words)           25%
Two 500 word document studies             25%
One 2500 word essay words       50%

third level
Pre-intensive select reading review (1500 words)           25%
Two 750 word document studies             25%
One 3000 word essay words                       50%

postgraduate
Four 750 word document studies        50%
One 3000 word essay                     50%

face to face and online
   second level
Four 500 word document studies             50%
Two 1250 word essays  50%

third level
Four 600 word document studies             50%
Two 1300 word essays or one 2,500 word essay                50%

postgraduate
Four 750 word document studies             50%
One 3000 word essay     50%

Faculty: S. Curkpatrick

Offered: online in first semester 2017

Bibliography:
Ebeling, Gerhard. Word and Faith. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1963.
Jüngel, Eberhard. God as the Mystery of the World: In the Foundation of the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism. trans. Darrell L. Guder. Grand Rapids and Edinburgh: Eerdmans and T&T Clark, 1983.
Kierkegaard, Søren. Philosophical Fragments. ed. and trans. Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985.
_________. Papers and Journals: A Selection, trans. into and notes, Alastair Hannay. London: Penguin, 1996.
McFague, Sallie. Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphor and Theology. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1975.
Oden, Thomas.C. ed. Parables of Kierkegaard. illust. Lonni S Johnson. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1978.
Pascal, Blaise. Pensées and Other Writings. trans. Honor Levi, ed. with intro. & notes by Anthony Levi. Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1995, 1999.
Ricoeur, Paul. Figuring the Sacred: Religion, Narrative, and Imagination. trans. D. Pellauer, ed. M. Wallace. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1995.
Thoma, Clemens. & Wyschogrod, Michael. eds. Parable and Story in Judaism and Christianity. New York: Paulist, 1989.
Tolstoy, Leo. A. Confession and Other Religious Writings. trans. Jane Kentish, London: Penguin, 1987.
Via, D.O. The Parables: Their Literary and Existential Dimensions. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967.
Wittgenstein, L. Culture and Value. trans. Peter Winch, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
*Zimmermann, Ruben. Puzzling the Parables of Jesus: Methods and Interpretation. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2015.