Jesus Christ, Learning Teacher
Where Theology and Pedagogy Meet
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The Christian presence in education has never been more controversial. While some secularists oppose any form of religious involvement in schools or universities, some Christians also wonder why the churches are there. Conflicting narratives surround the purpose of Christian involvement in education. Yet at the heart of Christianity stands an educator, whose passion and resurrection can be und erstood afresh as learning.
But what does it mean to say that Jesus was a teacher? If he was a good teacher, was he also a learner? Is today’s Christian church learning? Can educators help the church to recover a ‘learning Christ’ who places learning at the heart of the Godhead and the church? How could the Christian churches take the educational significance of Jesus more seriously?
JESUS CHRIST, LEARNING TEACHER calls for educators to treat their identity as ‘teachers’ as a theological resource, rather than an obstacle, and in so doing to discover new insights on Christ which can be of relevance to the wider church and its mission.
Listen to Mark Chater as he lists the seven questions a teacher asks about Jesus.
Foreword by David F. Ford xi
Introduction: Jesus Christ, learning teacher – is that even possible? xiii
Part 1 First born 1
1 A teacher looks at Jesus: Baggage and biography 3
2 A teacher looks at the church: Hermeneutics and education 14
3 The dance of theology and pedagogy 20
4 Getting to know him 35
Part 2 Learning teacher 51
5 The other side of you: The risen Christ as trickster teacher 55
6 Go and learn the meaning of the words: The roots and formation of a teacher 66
7 You have heard it said: A teacher of hermeneutics 75
8 Destroy this temple: The significance of location in Jesus’ teaching 85
9 The lesson that fails: Was Matthew’s Jesus a good teacher? 98
10 How shall we picture the kingdom? Reflections on a critical incident 110
11 Now at last you are speaking clearly: John’s Jesus as a teacher of light 120
Part 3 How our hearts burned within us 133
12 Writing an educational Christ 137
13 Teaching as sacrament of salvation 155
14 Towards an educational economy of the Trinity and the church 168
Postscript and proposals: Where pedagogy and theology meet 183
Index of Bible references 193
Index of names and subjects 198
"An outstanding book, one that needed to be written. It has a strong foundation in scholarship and professional experience. Mark’s argument that the church needs to take the educational Christ more seriously in its educational and pastoral work is topical and compelling." --RICHARD PEERS, SUB-DEAN, CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD
"Bad theology costs lives. But in this book we have good, life-giving theology, good surprises about Jesus, and practical ways forward for the churches." -- STEVE CHALKE MBE, FOUNDER AND LEADER, OASIS GLOBAL
"The quality of writing is beautifully clear. The range of scholarship is impressive. It reveals and shares lifelong personal reflection, intimate with text and interpreters in the life of the church. It will speak to fellow Christians, especially those with links to formal education. Jesus, the real and learning teacher, comes clearly through the author’s experience and reflection. The book is complete as it stands, and it builds symphonically." -- BRIAN GATES MBE, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF RELIGION, ETHICS AND EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA
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