My friend Dr. Jeremy Schipper, who teaches at Temple University and is currently the MAR-SBL Regional Coordinator, has a new book just out, Parables and Conflict in the Hebrew Bible. To see the catalog presentation of the book at the Cambridge University Press site, click here.
Here is the scoop: "Challenging the scholarly consensus, Jeremy Schipper argues that parables do not function as appeals to change their audience’s behavior. Nor do they serve to diffuse tensions in regards to the various conflicts in which their audiences are involved. Rather, the parables function to help create, intensify, and justify judgments and hostile actions against their audiences. In order to examine how the parables accomplish these functions, this book pays particular attention to issues of genre and recent developments in genre theory, shifting the central issues in the interpretation of Hebrew Bible parables."