Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Preaching to episodic ears: Practicing a dramaturgical homiletic

Sunggu Yang
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 2 | a5260 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i2.5260 | © 2019 Sunggu Yang | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 September 2018 | Published: 16 October 2019

About the author(s)

Sunggu Yang, College of Christian Studies, George Fox University, Newberg, United States


This article is a critical attempt to develop a homiletic methodology for preaching to the episodic self of the 21st century. The British philosopher Galen Strawson contends that postmodern people today do not regard themselves as living out their lives in a diachronic or narrative sense, but rather in an episodic-existential sense. This episodic-existential way of perceiving one’s life has recently posed a significant challenge to the current preaching practice that is mostly composed and delivered from the pulpit through a narrative. This article provides a considerate response to that episodic-existential challenge. Specifically, the article proposes a dramaturgical narrative form of preaching, in close collaboration with Paul Tillich’s existential theology, as a creative alternative to the conventional narrative way(s) of preaching.


Homiletic; Episodic; Galen Strawson; Existential; Paul Tillich; Narrative; Dramaturgical.


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