A bold interpretation: Should we admire the shrewd steward (Luke 16.1–9)?

10 May 2023.

The latest issue of Theology features two articles — one by yours truly — that interrogate the parable of the shrewd steward. Professor Robin Gill, the journal editor, provides an overview:

A newcomer to Theology, Dr Edward David, offers an account of the parable of the unjust steward in terms of moral exemplarism; in contrast, Dr Rob James, in a new addition to the Difficult Texts series, focuses on the final verse of this troublesome parable: ‘And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.’ I leave it to readers to make their choice between these two bold attempts to make sense of a parable that has baffled many a preacher.

My article is an exploratory piece. It tests out a theory of moral exemplarism as proposed by Catholic philosopher Linda Zagzebski. It does so by offering quick and dirty readings of the parable: indeed, the interpretations are mere prototypes, they are not final products. With a subscription, you can read both my article and Dr Rob James’s through the links below. (Though, you can find a pre-publication version of my article here.)

Published by Edward A. David

Responsible business. Law and religion. Ethics in public life.

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