Archaeology of Criticism



"[P]arables are not intended to be readily accessible to any listener. They are designed to raise questions more than to answer them, to confound rather than to confirm prior understanding, and particularly to accomplish this in order to raise doubts among their listeners about whether they are among the elect or remain outside among those who "hear and hear, but understand nothing.

* * * *

The underlying goal--and the basic methodology of...parables--is to lead the listeners to acknowledge a question, not an answer: a question about the true extent of their own safety. The premise of this methodology is that when the listeners acknowledge their vulnerability, they will see the appeal of the answer that Christ represents. The [New Gospel] parables in effect only teach the proper question so that, once taught this, the true initiates teach themselves the proper answer...." [Robert Burt, Constitutional Law and the Teaching of Parables, 93 Yale L.J. 455, 469, 471 (1984)]

  Contents Page for Archaeology of Criticism