7. Parables in the Sermon on the Mount: A Cognitive and Rhetorical Perspective
Lauri Thuren [+]
University of Eastern Finland
Lauri Thuren takes on all the 18 parables of the Sermon. Just like Lahti’s chapter below, the interpretative tool is Toulmen’s pragma-dialectics. The first part of the chapter gives an overview of the differing qualities of the parables. Some of them are complex, full narratives while others are simple rules. Some argue by means of credible premises that nobody would question while others postulate premises that an audience might find questionable. The second part gives brief analyses of the argumentative structure of the parables in order to explore their persuasive power to their audience. In the final section Thurén suggests that the parables help the reader explore the meaning of discipleship by means of entering the world of the parable. The contents of the parables are far less shocking than many of the exhortations in the Sermon and help the reader/listener to view their life in a new way, which in turn facilitates the process of accepting the adjoining exhortations.