Book presentation: 'Overcoming Dichotomies: Parables, Fables, and Similes in the Graeco-Roman World'

23 September 2022 13:30

Are parables actually a kind of fable, and if so, what does that mean for the way we read parables? This is one of the questions underlying the book Overcoming Dichotomies, which examines the differences between fables, parables and other similar genres in antiquity. The authors warmly invite you to join the book presentation of Overcoming Dichotomies: Parables, Fables, and Similes in the Graeco-Roman World. The book presentation is entitled 'Overcoming Dichotomies: Continuing the Conversation'. You can attend online or on location in Amsterdam.

The volume

Our volume aims to contribute to the study of parables, fables, and similes across disciplinary boundaries. Despite the fact that these related genres of narrative analogy were part and parcel of the wider cultural context of Graeco-Roman antiquity, they have not yet been thoroughly studied in relation to each other. The contributions in our volume highlight the fluid boundaries between these different genres, but also demonstrate how their adoption and adaption in different literary works give expression to the distinct identities of the composers. View the table of contents and a reading sample. 


During our book launch, we will present the first copy of the book as well as continue our conversations by reflecting on the results and contributions of our volume to further research. Dr. Eric Ottenheijm (UU), Prof. Gerard Boter (VU), and Prof. Caroline Vander Stichele (TiU) will briefly react to the book from their respective fields of rabbinic studies, New Testament studies, and classical studies. The programme is as follows:

  • 13:30 Entrance
  • 13:45 Introduction and book presentation by the editors
  • 13:55 Response by Dr. Eric Ottenheijm (UU), “Parables as fables? Rethinking genre”
  • 14:05 Response by Prof. Gerard Boter (VU), “Overcoming definitions”
  • 14:15 Response by Prof. Caroline Vander Stichele (TiU), “Film, gender, and the reception of the mustard seed”
  • 14:25 Round of questions
  • 14:45 Reception with drinks and light hors d’oeuvres
  • 15:30 Final words

Practical details

The book presentation will take place on Friday September 23, 13.30 – 15.30 CET in 'werkgroepzaal 3' at the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam (De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam). Attendance is free.

It will be a hybrid event, meaning those who cannot join us on location will be able to attend virtually via Zoom. 


Please register by September 22 at the latest by sending an email to Dr. Albertina Oegema ( Tell us whether you will be attending on location or virtually. Those attending the meeting on location are kindly requested to inform us about dietary wishes and restrictions, if any. Those attending online we will send the Zoom-link.

We look forward to meeting you all at our book presentation.


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