Transforming Fire: Imagining Christian Teaching (Paperback)

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"We don't need books about teaching so much as books that teach."

Considering Jesus himself taught in a variety of ways--parable, discussion, miracle performance, ritual observance--it seems that there can be no single, definitive, Christian method of teaching. How then should Christian teaching happen, especially in this time of significant change to theological education as an institution?

Mark Jordan addresses this question by first allowing various depictions and instances of Christian teaching from literature to speak for themselves before meditating on what these illustrative examples might mean for Christian pedagogy. Each textual scene he shares is juxtaposed with a contrasting scene to capture the pluralistic possibilities in the art of teaching a faith that is so often rooted in paradox. He exemplifies forms of teaching that operate beyond the boundaries of scholarly books and discursive lectures to disrupt the normative Western academic approach of treating theology as a body of knowledge to be transmitted merely through language.

Transforming Fire consults writers ranging from Gregory of Nyssa to C. S. Lewis, and from John Bunyan to Octavia Butler, cutting across historical distance and boundaries of identity. Rather than offering solutions or systems, Jordan seeks in these texts new shelters for theological education where powerful teaching can happen and--even as traditional institutions shrink or vanish--the hearts of students can catch fire once again.

About the Author

Mark D. Jordan is the R. R. Niebuhr Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. He is the author of ten books, including Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright- Hays Fellowship, and a Luce Fellowship in Theology.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802879035
ISBN-10: 0802879039
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Publication Date: January 28th, 2021
Pages: 172
Language: English