Detail of Landscape with the Parable of the Sower by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

Seeds and sowers

A congregation confronts a parable

The Bible has the power to generate new meaning in new contexts and thereby to affirm both unity and diversity in communities whose members engage one another around the text. To show students this way of engaging biblical literature, I often show them clips from a television series hosted in the 1990s by Bill Moyers, "Genesis: A Living Conver­sation." Each of its one-hour sessions brought a handful of people together to focus on a single short story from Genesis. They sat in a circle and talked about the story, keeping their comments and questions grounded in the details of the text.


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