This week I’m offering The Parables after Jesus: Their Imaginative Receptions across Two Millennia by David B. Gowler. Here’s the catalog description and table of contents:
Jesus’s enigmatic and compelling parables have fascinated their hearers since he first uttered them, and during the intervening centuries these parables have produced a multitude of interpretations. This accessibly written book explores the varying interpretations of Jesus’s parables across two millennia to demonstrate how powerfully they continue to challenge people’s hearts, minds, and imaginations.
The Parables after Jesus covers more than fifty imaginative receptions from different eras, perspectives, and media, including visual art, music, literature, science fiction novels, plays, poetry, sermons, politics, theologians, biblical scholars, and other modes of interpretation, including perspectives from other religious traditions. The book shows how the use of Jesus’s parables affects society and culture and offers a richer appreciation for Jesus’s most striking teachings. Readers will begin to understand how contemporary interpretations of the parables stand on the shoulders of centuries of conversations and that our interpretations are never independent of the readings and responses that have preceded us. The Parables after Jesus will serve as an excellent supplemental text for a variety of courses.
1. The Afterlives of Jesus’s Parables in Antiquity (to ca. 550 CE)
The Gospel of Philip
Clement of Alexandria
Macrina the Younger
Ephrem the Syrian
The Good Shepherd in Early Christian Art
Dura-Europos House Church
Illuminations from the Rossano Gospels
Byzantine Mosaics, Christ Separating Sheep from Goats, Sant’Apollinare Nuovo (Ravenna, Italy)
Romanos the Melodist
2. The Afterlives of Jesus’s Parables in the Middle Ages (ca. 550-1500 CE)
Gregory the Great
Wazo of Liège
The Golden Gospels of Echternach
The Laborers in the Vineyard
The Wicked Tenants
The Great Dinner
The Rich Man and Lazarus
Hildegard of Bingen
3. The Afterlives of Jesus’s Parables in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Anna Jansz of Rotterdam
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
4. The Afterlives of Jesus’s Parables in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
John Everett Millais
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
5. The Afterlives of Jesus’s Parables in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Thomas Hart Benton
Parables and the Blues: Rev. Robert Wilkins
Martin Luther King Jr.
Latin American Receptions
The Peasants of Solentiname
Thich Nhat Hanh
Conclusion: What Do Parables Want?
Appendix: Descriptions of the Parables Cited in the Interpretations
Leave your name in the comments section no later than Friday, July 28th. I’ll draw the winner’s name that day. If I don’t hear back from the winner within seven days the book will go to another entry. Entries are limited to U.S. residents.