Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mark L. Y. Chan's sense of humor

He is a lecturer in philosophical theology at Trinity Theological College. He is also the senior pastor of Evangel Christian Church.

Mark did his Ph.D under the supervision of the legendary Anthony Thiselton, who recently was elected to the British Academy. Thiselton was shot to the academy stardom in 1980 when he published a book bearing the title 'The Two Horizons: New Testament hermeneutics and philosophical description with special reference to Heidegger, Bultmann, Gadamer, and Wittgenstein.'

As if that work alone has not completely shook the world of biblical hermeneutic, ten years later, Thiselton wrote another book titled 'New Horizons in Hermeneutics: The Theory and Practice of Transforming Biblical Reading' to make sure the world of hermeneutic receives the quake that it rightly deserves.

It is under this overwhelming persona that Mark completed his dissertation 'Christology from Within and Ahead: Hermeneutics, contingency, and the quest for transcontextual criteria in Christology'. This work itself was cited several times in Thiselton's later publications like the Hermeneutics of Doctrine (p.412-413).

Mark is now teaching a course on biblical interpretation to undergraduates besides an other more intensive course on hermeneutics to postgraduates. Anyone who attends the course will notice his consistent sense of humor.

During one of the classes, he told us about dialectical discourse in philosophical hermeneutic. He began the subject by clarifying that the topic is not about how to use Hokkien language.

At a different occasion he told us about his pen-pal, Bill, who writes to him everyday. "I receive bill everyday," he said.

All these just add to the fun of the course of study. (I wonder if he picked up the sense of humor from Thiselton too?) Combination of good philosophical theology with humor always makes one anticipate to attend the class.

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