The Scandal of Having Something to Say: Ricoeur and the Possibility of Postliberal Preaching
The Christian sermon—once the chief symbol of authority in Western culture—often appears in the postmodern imagination as synonymous with irrelevancy, biased judgment, and a rejection of absolute truth. While Christian preachers mourn the cultural disintegration of their hallowed practice, Lance B. Pape believes this modern turn enables the preacher to rediscover the sermon. He contends that proclaiming the gospel lies not in the cultural acceptance of the message, but in God’s free act of self-communication. Using Karl Barth’s theology of the Word, Hans Frei’s hermeneutical method, and Paul Ricoeur’s theory of narrative as threefold mimesis, Pape develops a homiletic that recaptures the scandalous intent of the gospel. The Scandal of Having Something to Say then casts the post-liberal preacher as a “surrogate reader” of the biblical text on behalf of the congregation and opens new avenues for practice through the analysis and critique of two sermons.
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- Explores how scriptural and sermonic language participate in God’s free act of self-communication
- Offers theological reflections on the contemporary context
- Analyzes Hans Frei’s hermeneutics
- The Scandal of Having Something to Say
- Hans Frei on How to Read during an Eclipse
- Paul Ricoeur and the World of the Text
- A Ricoeurian Revision of Postliberal Homiletics
- Preaching as Threefold Mimesis
Praise for the Print Edition
The Scandal of Having Something to Say is a tour de force. Pape not only provides a clear and compelling analysis of Ricoeur’s narrative hermeneutics, but releases its power for biblical preaching. Pape develops an approach to preaching that gives the preacher something urgent to say across a lifetime of preaching.
—Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Pape makes creative use of Ricoeur’s threefold understanding of textual mimesis. The Scandal of Having Something to Say is an indispensable contribution to the ongoing scholarly conversation about postliberal homiletics.
—John S. McClure, Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship, Vanderbilt Divinity School
- Title: The Scandal of Having Something to Say: Ricoeur and the Possibility of Postliberal Preaching
- Author: Lance B. Pape
- Publisher: Baylor University Press
- Publication Date: 2013
- Pages: 176
About Lance B. Pape
Lance B. Pape is Granville and Erline Walker Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Brite Divinity School.