Jesus told parables. Gospel writers give them diverse readings. Modern exegetes give them even more diverse readings. Hedrick chronicles both diversities and then poses a new question. How would those parables, precisely as poetic but realistic stories, have sounded to Jesus' first hearers 'in the context of Israel's fictions about itself'? His book emphasizes original audience reaction, and its signal achievement is to have said something new, interesting, and provocative in the very crowded field of parables research.
--John Dominic Crossan
author of In Parables: The Challenge of the Historical Jesus
Charles Hedrick's Parables as Poetic Fictions places the story character of Jesus' parables at the center of attention. His innovative use of Aristotle's poetics pioneers the place of sound in the structuring of the parables and provides a way of understanding how the story is organized. This book must be on the shelf of anyone interested in the parables.
--Bernard Brandon Scott
author of Hear Then the Parable
This is a provocative and insightful study of the parables, which treats them as fictitious stories and employs both literary and historical criticism in reading them. Plot and realism are emphasized, the relationship of the parables to the kingdom of God is marginalized, and the metaphorical or symbolic nature of the parables is played down. An important contribution.
--Dan O. Via
author of The Parables: Their Literary and Existential Dimension