Degree Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

David G. Kamitsuka

Keywords

Parables, Ecotheology, Biblical interpretation, Scriptural hermeneutic, Progressive Christianity, Christian scripture, Gospel of Luke, Prophetic principle, Environmental theology, Environmental studies

Abstract

In this paper I demonstrate how adopting a scriptural hermeneutic based in Rosemary Radford Ruether’s prophetic principle can cultivate the ability of Christian communities to interpret Scripture based on their own community context. I will provide an interpretive framework for rethinking relationships between humans, nature, and the Divine that can serve as a correction for entrenched reading practices that reinforce Christianity’s complicity in environmental degradation. I use reader-response theory to conduct literary-critical readings of three well-known parables from the Gospel of Luke. The parabolic structure of orientation, disorientation, and reorientation informs my view of the parables as inherently subversive and on the side of the marginalized and oppressed in society. I propose applying this reading practice to three parables with the goal of reorienting social norms to be radically inclusive: love, neighborliness and hospitality, thereby challenging the dominant paradigms of hierarchical binaries, anthropocentrism, and utilitarianism.

Included in

Religion Commons

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