Friday, December 5, 2014

What's next for the book? Science fiction!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Parable of the Sower, 1557
Timken Museum, San Diego (my photo)

I have not been able to work (directly) on the book since the first week of October, for a number of reasons. My SBL paper, however, will allow me to refine the section of the book that I had written on Thomas Hart Benton's lithograph, The Prodigal Son, one of my favorite representations of any parable. Researching the paper also yielded some additional insights into some possible interpretations of the image, based on some other work Benton did the same year as he created the lithograph. More on that in a later post.

On the flight home from San Diego, though, I started reading Parable of the Sower, by Octavia Butler. This book and another book by Butler, Parable of the Talents, were recommended to me by my colleague at Oxford, Dr. Adriane Ivey, one of whose areas of expertise is Biblical allusion and Christian mythology by African American women novelists.

After finishing The Parable of the Sower, I have decided to include Butler's two novels in the book. They are distinctive works of science fiction, and they will add much to the discussion of recent receptions of the parables of Jesus.

Once finals week is over, I will begin reading Parable of the Talents and hopefully will begin and finish writing the section of the book on Butler and her work before the spring semester begins. 

After Butler, I probably will turn to Leo Tolstoy, George Herbert, Abraham Bloemaert (I will probably include his The Parable of the Wheat and Tares, instead of the above painting by Bruegel), and Anna Jansz.  

I also have not yet found any receptions of the parables in music from 1500-1700 that I want to include. I need to begin the search for musical pieces from that period over the break as well. If you have any suggestions for music from that period to include, you can email me at

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