Parish News

Lunch and Learn

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Thursday, Nov. 15, 12 noon, Joe’s Cafe

A Time to Laugh: Humor in Scripture, Faith, and Practice
With Dr. Rebecca Hancock, professor at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute

Registration required, sign up at or 410–683–0600

The teachings and traditions of Christianity and its pre-Christian roots include levels and varieties of humor that we often overlook. The Old Testament has God laughing sometimes in enjoyment and sometimes in mockery. The New Testament describes Jesus’ use of irony, paradox, preposterousness, and banter. In both Testaments, there are stories that make the most sense when considered as humorous, stories such as Jonah or the Parable of the Talents. Theologians have argued about the value of humor to Christian development, with some, such as Chrysostom, promoting a theology of tears, and others, such as Karl-Josef Kuschell, promoting a Theology of Laughter. More generally, Christians are called to joy and celebration–tough tasks in the absence of humor.

Rebecca Hancock teaches Biblical Studies at the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in Hebrew Bible. She teaches a variety of classes related to the field of Old Testament Studies, including biblical Hebrew, Psalms, Prophets, and a course on the Decalogue.

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