The Poetics of God: Exegesis and Story in Six Parables of Christ
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In this thesis, I propose to examine six parables of Christ through the interpretive tools common to patristic and medieval forms of exegesis. Beginning with a close examination of primary sources, I consider the fundamental assumptions made by pre-fifteenth century commentators about the nature of the Scripture, our engagement with it, and their particular theological position within the story of our Faith as a whole. Having detailed specific consideration of major and minor commentators, I then proceed to exegete six parables on my own, drawing on the whole of Scripture, the deuterocanonical texts, and the varying commentators previously explored to interpret the passages in an art that has been largely lost in our anti-Incarnational, post-Descartes modern hermeneutic. Grouping the parables into three paradigms—eschatological, subversive, and violent—I read the parables against each other, against the Scripture, and in conversation with the Tradition, arguing for a consideration of the Scripture that emphasizes the poetic language by which God speaks, teaching in story as a means to continually converse with His people throughout time.