Vancouver School of Theology

Forming thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century


SAH-HOM6/715—Tell me a Story!

View outline (PDF)   Instructor(s): Private: Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris

“And he told them a parable…” It appears from the gospels, particularly the Gospel of Luke, that Jesus was invited regularly and frequently to dinner. Perhaps it was because he told such interesting stories. In this course, we shall work together on the skills of storytelling, not with the aim of gaining dinner invitations but with a view to effective communication.

It is sometimes claimed that humans are hard-wired for story. Whether or not that is true, at the very least, stories can be remarkably effective in carrying out Aristotle’s three functions of rhetoric, to instruct, to delight and to persuade. In this class we shall attempt to learn and to practise the skills that go into preparing and telling a good story. The use of story has been a matter of extensive discussion in both Bible and Theology in recent decades. Some of the key texts in the homiletical consideration of Narrative and Theology are represented in the select bibliography below. However, this is not a course either in the Theology of Narrative or Narrative Theology. It is rather a course in the art and craft of storytelling and, more specifically, its use in preaching and other religious communication. Our aim is not to learn or to create a theoretical framework for storytelling but rather to identify and to demonstrate the various skills involved in effective storytelling.

This is an oral based course. Only the “database” assignment (see below) will be submitted in writing

Pre-requisite: HOM500 or equivalent

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