Interpretation matters. The insights readers find in the scriptures depend on the questions we bring to the text. The bible can seem hopelessly dated, silencing women, accepting slavery, using male images of God, but as women have become theologians and scripture scholars their new methods actively engage today’s readers in critical and creative dialog with scripture.
What really happened is a historical question. Which version of a parable is oldest is a redaction question about how the scriptures were woven together. Which son is lost, the prodigal or the elder brother, is a literary question about characters in a parable. A feminist theologian sees God’s intent for all women in Jesus straightening up the bent over woman. A liberation theologian laughs with Luke at the Rich Fool’s full granaries and embraces Jesus’ mission to raise up the poor.
Nine sessions explore the gospel stories and teachings unique to Luke. Two sessions explore its sequel, the Acts of the Apostles, especially house churches and early Christian women such as Tabitha, Lydia, Phoebe, and Priscilla. We’ll also explore ministries today that continue Jesus’ mission to the poor, the imprisoned, the indebted, and oppressed in our midst. The April 29 session will feature Christine Schenk, CSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph from Cleveland, Ohio, and author of Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity. Her research on early Christian women explores visual imagery found on burial artifacts of prominent early Christian women in the first four centuries and their authority and influence.
*No class on Monday, March 18