Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jesus Parables

Back when I was a student at the University of Virginia, I heard a weekend lecture from a prof in the Religious Studies Department by the name of Dan Via. He discussed Jesus' parables from a literary perspective using the categories of Comedy and Tragedy. Subsequently I read his book The Parables and then one of his sources, Interpreting the Parables by A. M. Hunter. What I learned in the latter book has stayed with me all these years. I will follow with a post on it eventually.

This week I did some reading in Via's book for the first time in over twenty years. Now, I am just beginnng to understand some of it that I hadn't earlier. It approaches Jesus from an existential direction and it seems quite contemporary in some ways as it fits with my recent reading regarding postmodernism and foundationalism.

The very fact that Jesus compared the kingdom of God to ordinary, everyday people and activities suggests some kind of analogy between God and man. p. 104

he says regarding the parables,

Because of their aesthetic nature they are in certain ways more effective than propositional statements could be, and because of their realistic and dramatic subject matter they give a particular content to our understanding of our relationship with God and tie it to human experience. p. 65

And this statement has stayed with me all of these years,

It may be agreed that the biblical text transcends the author's self-understanding...the author of artistic works says more than he knows he is saying... p 39

1 comment:

kevin beck said...

Those are awesome quotes. Now I simply must go out and find the book.

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