Humor and truth: Towards a Christian theology of laughter

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Humor and truth: Towards a Christian theology of laughter

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Title: Humor and truth: Towards a Christian theology of laughter
Author: Theobald, David Nathanael
Advisor: Allison, Gregg R.
Abstract: This thesis explores the relationship between theology and laughter. It adopts the Superiority theory, confirmed through biblical and theological analyses. Chapter 1 discusses recent theologies of humor and outlines the occasion for the present one.

Chapter 2 begins with an historical review of the church's attitude towards laughter and discusses humor's relationship to major areas of theology.

Chapter 3 traces the development of the Superiority Theory and contends that much of our laughter is the ridiculing of a butt. Laughter performs a didactic function when it enforces a moral perspective by mocking deviants. Chapter 4 combs Scripture to confirm the theory.

Chapter 5 observes that because of competing perspectives, laughter must have an eschatological dimension. It concludes that Heaven will contain the sounds of joy and triumph, defeat and derision.

Chapter 6 discusses the implications for a postmodern context and makes application by affirming the role of humor in preaching.

Description: This item is only available to students and faculty of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. If you are not associated with SBTS, this dissertation may be purchased from or downloaded through ProQuest's Dissertation and Theses database if your institution subscribes to that service.
Date: 2007-11-28

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