Publication Date


Degree Granted


Institution Granting Degree

University of Wales (Spurgeon's College)


Biblical Studies | Missions and World Christianity | Religion


Dissertation issued/validated by the University of Wales. For more information, see European JISC library hub system: Item Display | Library Hub (


This thesis argues the utility of ‘parabolic engagement’ method for preachers and listeners in the French Antillean context. The opening chapter defines key terms and clarifies how this imaged sermonic style addresses the listening habits of targeted audiences. It explains that figured delivery is often context-interpretive, involving a more personal, experiential decoding by the listener. Engagement technique increases auditor involvement and creates unique communicative rapport. The chapter points out that the entire experimental process validates the usefulness of the pedagogy. Part One addresses the theological rationale for ‘parabolic engagement’ method. Chapter Two reviews appropriate literature with respect to engagement. Chapter Three argues the biblical basis for creating a method of figured preaching. Chapter Four discusses how precise homiletic situations demand a circumstantial approach to engaging delivery. Part Two attempts to synthesize a broad range of image-creation methodologies and make them suitable for teaching among oral peoples. Chapter Five shows the necessity of a grammar for figured proclamation pedagogy. Chapter Six develops simplified classical methods for finding the illustrative crux of an idea or text. Chapter Seven shows the need to then engage the listener by means of analogous correspondence with the concrete world. Chapter Eight explores how circumstantial factors encourage the transformation of engaging analogies into extended narratives. Part Three validates the thesis within the missionary setting. Chapter Nine describes the suitability of ‘parabolic engagement’ method among Creoles and European French on the island of Martinique. Chapter Ten establishes an experimental design by specifying components, clarifying how the hypotheses were tested, justifying data collection methods, and explaining the use of participatory action research and educational ethnography. Chapter Eleven details the implementation, measurement, and success of engagement strategies. Lastly, Chapter Twelve argues for the utility of ‘parabolic engagement’ and posits generalizations by summarizing the merits, conclusions, and limitations of the model.