Listening to the Parables of Jesus- Anew: Ancient Stories for Contemporary Times

stained glass window

Anyone of any faith, or no faith at all, can engage the parables of Jesus and come away from the encounter with transformative perspectives on life and living. Even though the passage of time has weakened the capacity of biblical narratives to inspire belief and animate behavior, as they initially did so potently for first-century audiences, we moderns can still respond to the radically profane short stories of Jesus in a way that once more astonishes, provokes, renews, and spurs compassionate action. Peopled by Palestinian landholders and renters, stewards and workers, farmers and fishers, fathers and sons, and others, these venerable parabolic tales of normalcy retain the uncanny power to reveal how the extraordinary resides in the ordinary. From this perspective, the parables serve, not so much as conduits of theological doctrine, but as representations of what a kingdom of heaven on Earth would be like—provided, that is, we listen to them with fresh ears. Come attend to these striking depictions of the sacred in the mundane.  All are welcome to join the conversation, and no prior knowledge of the Bible is required.

Instructor: Howard Einsohn

Thursdays: October 10, 17, 24, 31

4:30–6:00 p.m. (October 10: 4:00–6:00 p.m.)
Howard Einsohn
HOWARD EINSOHN received his BA in English from City College of CUNY, New York City; his MA in English from the University of Connecticut; his master’s in library science from Rutgers University; and his Certificate of Advanced Study from Wesleyan. He has been employed at Middlesex Community College in Middletown since 1974, in various capacities; retiring from full-time service in 2003 as the director of library services; and since then has served the college as an adjunct instructor in English, teaching one class a semester, mostly writing and literature courses.