Teaching the Bible as a Cross Cultural Classic in a Middle Eastern Society

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This book will be of vital interest to all those concerned with the Contemporary Middle East, Pahlavi Iran, cross-cultural education, the education of women (especially in a third world context), as well as teaching English language and literature to those for whom English is a second language. As a visiting professor at Damavand College, Tehran, Iran, the author taught a 75 semester hour course on the English Bible as a “global classic” in the World Literatures major at that college for women. In seven chapters, he describes the country, the college, and outlines the challenges and opportunities of communicating a “religious classic” cross-culturally to students, who were predominately Shiite Muslims, and doing so while respecting the “dignity of difference.” Naturally, this is of interest to those who teach the English Bible in both public and private institutions, but it also reflects deeply on the nature of “Literature” and how it may be interpreted.


“The women of Damavand College learned that a concern for the truth, a development of mutual trust, a sense of working at a shared task, and by doing so as a team could be perceived in and experienced by the atmosphere of the land of biblical times as by the literature of the Bible ... Throughout the experience the women were given an opportunity to realize and to respect the dignity of difference. The effectiveness of this focus at Damavand College continues to linger as an abiding impression and a positive experience in the mind of the writer, in the mind of the reader, and in the hearts of the women of Damavand College ... it is an invitation to sense our “World Cultural Heritage of Literature” that transcends the differences of creed, gender, culture and continent ... it invites us all to find a “Feast of Delight,” as we share in the rich legacy of our species.” – Marie Loudon-Hanes, Assistant Vice President, Academic Enhancement, The University of Findlay

“The author has written a book on the teaching of the Bible as literature that is both fascinating and insightful ... his insights garnered from his life of reading, teaching, and ministry imbue the book with a personal and philosophical style reminiscent of Thoreau’s Walden ... He powerfully asserts that the Bible is a book of intricate meaning and infinite depth. It is a book of faith for believers, but also great literature cutting to the bone of human experience. The author manages to convey his love for the Bible as great literature in an autobiographical style that is accessible yet scholarly, profound yet touching. His book is bound to inspire a deeper appreciation for the greatest story ever told.” – Gary Staats, The Gale and Harriette Ritz Professor of Old Testament at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, Findlay, Ohio

“This is a virtual encyclopedia of information on the background of Iran’s history, culture, and education provides a backdrop for an intriguing tour of this country ... The insights gained from this journey will be invaluable to educators, political scientists, cultural anthropologists, missiologists, pastors, theologians, comparative religion professors, cross-cultural communication specialists, higher educational administrators and historians ... The author plows deep furrows that uncover many layers and ... will nurture the soul of the human family.” – M. John Nissley, Academic Dean, Winebrenner Theological Seminary

Table of Contents

Preface by Marie Loudon-Hanes
1. A Country
2. Character
3. A College
4. A Class
5. College Life
6. Considerations
7. Reconsiderations

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