The course explores the parables of Jesus in their historical, cultural, and literary contexts. A close study of specific parables will determine the embedded theological themes, ethical lessons, codifications for social reconstruction, and the significance of the parabolic discourse for the Church and society today.
I am thrilled to be the instructor for the course on parables and count you as my fellow Bible readers. As we engage the New Testament parables and the different secondary readings, I look forward to a shared appreciation of the richness and multivocality of the Word of God. I also hope that you will develop more love for parables and enrich your understandings of parables for various ministries and discipleship. I am passionate about how parables can help us create more just and compassionate communities. In a world in which it has become even more difficult to live together as brothers and sisters, some parables might help us discover ways to construct social spaces of authentic humanity.
Instructor: My name is Laurent Okitakatshi, the instructor for the course on parables. I am a Roman Catholic Priest and I hold a doctorate in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. The New Testament is my primary area of concentration with a particular interest in the letters of St. Paul. My doctoral dissertation is entitled: “Not a slave, But a Beloved Brother in the Flesh and in the Lord: the Construction of a Koinonia-Space in the Letter to Philemon.”
Ordained for the diocese of Tshumbe, I am originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa). English is my second academic language and my fourth spoken language after Otetela, Lingala, and French. I currently serve as the chaplain of the Catholic Campus Ministry (St. John Henry Newman Center) at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In the past two years, while a PhD candidate, I served as a teaching assistant to Professor Peter Ajer for the courses of Introduction to the New Testament at CDSP.