The Bible and Its Use
The Bible is a collection of texts about God, humans, and the world. These texts are treated as holy scripture in the church and in the synagogue. In biblical studies, which is my area, the Bible and its use is the center of attention.
I teach religious studies, more specifically biblical studies. Together with my students, I explore the world of the Bible – its historical contexts, its literary qualities, and especially its theological themes – as well as its use in the church and the synagogue as holy scripture. My area of expertise is the New Testament.
Here are some om my courses
Luke's Gospel and Its Narrative Ethics
It is fascinating that the Gospel of Luke not only seems to communicate moral instruction to the audience, but also do so implicitly. My research on Luke's implicit ethics is situated in the intersection between biblical studies, theological ethics, and narrative pragmatics.
It is widely acknowledged among scholars that Luke, the evangelist, uses his Gospel to communicate moral messages to his first audience. Yet, the narrative form creates distinct possibilities and challenges for Luke. He narrates the life of Jesus of Nazareth from cradle to grave. In so doing, Luke describes how Jesus teaches other characters in the story and how he handles various situations.
From descriptions of what Jesus said and did, the audience has to infer what Luke aspires to teach them. Luke does not explicitly say "take this as instruction for you." He simply offers descriptions of Jesus's words and deeds, and so implies what the "moral lesson" is, if there is one. This feature of the narrative form has caught my interest. And I have tried to show that this implicit communication has not been properly framed and analyzed.
I ask questions such as: what moral instruction is implied in Luke's Gospel, how is this implicit instruction communicated, and why can it be more or less difficult to recognize and interpret what is implied? A special focus in my research is Luke's "passion narrative," the account of Jesus suffering and execution, and how Jesus is presented as a moral exemplar for the audience there. Now, I am not only interesting in the Gospel of Luke as an ancient narrative.
I also explore how this Gospel is considered to have enduring significance by the Christian tradition and how its implicit ethics raises various challenges for those aspiring to live by it.