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Parables as persuasive narratives

20.09.2019 - 20.09.2025
School of Theology, Philosophical Faculty


Main funder

Parables as persuasive narratives funder logo

Funding: Academy of Finland, University of Eastern Finland.
Our values and action are shaped by narratives. The parables of Jesus belong to the most influential of them. But the interpretations are contradictory, as we do not know how they function. This project aims at cracking the code of the parables.


This project aims at a paradigm shift in one of the most studied topics: the interpretation of the parables of Jesus. We seek to understand, how these early Jewish narratives were supposed to function in their earliest literary context as appeals to reason and the emotions. In contrast to earlier, mostly theological or historical, approaches, the project strives for a paradigm shift. It applies modern argumentation analysis, narratology, and data mining. This will result in a comprehensive definition of the parables, new analytical approaches and interpretations. The project will also offer a better basis for using the parables as historical material. In society, the misuse of the parables, for example, in hate speech can be exposed.



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