Saturday, February 8, 2014

Update on the book research and writing

I am spending the weekend with John Bunyan, as it were. I have written the section about his life and am working on his overall view and use of the parables. Then I will move on to specific examples of his he uses and interprets parables. So what should I use for those representative examples?

The most obvious choice is Pilgrim's Progress. That's what I used in my James Through the Centuries in several places, and I could discuss Bunyan's use of the Prodigal Son parable in that classic work.

I have decided to go elsewhere for examples, though. The book should include important (and famous) examples throughout history of receptions of parables. I also strive, though, to include important examples from voices that are usually not heard, voices that are undeservedly underrepresented. And, of course, I want to include discussions that are intrinsically interesting. In addition, though, I want to include examples from "famous" people that usually aren't discussed.

So for Bunyan, instead of writing about Pilgrim's Progress, I intend to discuss three other works that will not be familiar to most people: (1) The Barren Fig Tree; (2) A Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publicane (not a typo); and (3) A Few Sighs from Hell (about the Rich Man and Lazarus parable).

That's the plan, but we'll see what happens after I work through all those writings carefully. Perhaps I will also include a brief summary paragraph about Pilgrim's Progress, though, since it is not as well-known as it used to be.

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