Missouri State University
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College of Humanities and Public Affairs Blog

An everyday life of Biblical proportions

matthews-hero-940x400On May 22, 2011, a devastating E5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri. Dr. Victor Matthews, dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs and professor of religious studies, visited the town only a few days after the storm destroyed much of the town. A Joplin native, Matthews wanted to see what had become of his childhood home.

For the full article and video see: http://blogs.missouristate.edu/mindseye/an-everyday-life-of-biblical-proportions/


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Social Studies Program passes SPA

Michelle MorganThe College of Education was notified on August 1 that the Social Studies Program housed in the Department of History in the College of Humanities and Public Affairs has passed the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) standards. The program will be listed as nationally recognized through the semester of the next NCATE accreditation decision on websites and/or publications of the SPA and NCATE. Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Morgan on her diligence and hard work on this report.


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Dr. Dennis Hickey Meets with Leader of Kuomintang

Professor of Political Science and Global Studies Program Director, Dr. Dennis Hickey, recently interviewed Ms. Hung Hsiu-chu, Chairperson of Kuomintang (KMT). The interview focused largely on the KMT’s loss in this year’s election and her observations will be incorporated into Dr. Hickey’s current research project.

Hong3 HONG1

Although well prepared for BearWear Fridays, the latter picture could cause some trouble for Hung when she visits her alma mater, Truman State University.

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Charles Hedrick Publishes New Parables Book



Charles W. Hedrick, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Missouri State University, has recently published a book on the parables of Jesus. The title is Parabolic Figures or Narrative Fictions. Seminal Essays on the Stories of Jesus (Cascade, 2016).


Hedrick contends that parables do not teach moral and religious lessons; they are not, in whole or part, theological figures for the church. Rather parables are realistic narrative fictions that like all effective fiction literature are designed to draw readers into their story worlds where they make discoveries about themselves by finding their ideas challenged and subverted—or affirmed.

The parables have endings but not final resolutions, because the endings raise new complications for careful readers, which require further resolution.  The narrative contexts and interpretations supplied by the evangelists constitute an attempt by the early church to bring the secular narratives of Jesus under the control of the church’s later religious perspectives.  Each narrative represents a fragment of Jesus’ secular vision of reality.

Finding himself outside the mainstream of parables scholarship, both ecclesiastical and critical, Hedrick explored a literary approach to the parables in a series of essays that, among other things, set out the basic rationale for a literary approach to the parables of Jesus.  These early essays form the central section of the book, published in edited form along with previously unpublished critiques of a strictly literary approach to the parables and his response.

Dr. Hedrick will be at Barnes and Noble Springfield, Missouri on October 22 for the public to meet the author and book signing.


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Philosophy Instructor takes second place in essay contest

Congratulations to Dr. Patrick A. Beach, Philosophy Instructor, for finishing second in Teaching Ethics’ recent 1,000-word essay competition! The essay was in response to an ethical case study called “The Bus Puzzle”. Beach“The Foolhardy Do-Gooder” appears in Teaching Ethics1 (2016), pp. 135-136.

Here’s the link to the first page:  https://www.pdcnet.org/pdc/bvdb.nsf/purchase?openform&fp=tej&id=tej_2016_0016_0001_0135_0136

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