• School of Theology
University of Eastern Finland
PB 111, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland
• phone +358 294 45 2727
• email lauri.thuren (at) uef.fi
Οὐδὲ γὰρ δεῖ τὰ ῥήματα γυμνὰ ἐξετάζειν, ἐπεὶ πολλὰ ἕψεται τὰ ἁμαρτήματα·
οὐδὲ τὴν λέξιν καθ' ἑαυτὴν βασανίζειν, ἀλλὰ τῇ διανοίᾳ προσέχειν τοῦ γράφοντος. John Chrysostom, Ad Gal., 10
When reading the parables, one should know nothing more and nothing less than the audience to whom the evangelist was writing. They ought to be studied as pieces of persuasion, as reflecting the interaction between the characters in the existing text. Therefore, I want to identify their meaning and function based on recent developments in modern rhetorical criticism, narratological studies, and modern argumentation analysis.
Paul’s fame as the most influential thinker in Early Christianity is hardly due to his doctrinal insights alone. He succeeded in presenting novel religious ideas in a highly persuasive manner. After focusing for centuries on the theology, it is important that we are also re-discovering his rhetoric. The two are so closely interwoven that they can hardly be understood separately.
Parables as Persuasive Narratives
Our values and action are shaped by narratives. The parables of Jesus belong to the most influential of them. But the interpretations are contradictory, as we do not know how they function. This project aims at cracking the code of the parables.
Money Can Buy Me Love – The Origins of Early Christian Diaconia