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Jesus Christ, Learning Teacher

Where Theology and Pedagogy Meet

Jesus Christ, Learning Teacher

Where Theology and Pedagogy Meet

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334059684
Published: 30/10/2020

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.

Acknowledgements ix

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

Mark Chater

Dr Mark Chater is a former teacher, researcher, policy maker and Charity Director, writing on Christianity and education.

"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