Richard (Dick) Eslinger

Professor of Homiletics and Worship

Teaching and Research
Dick’s teaching and research interests include preaching, homiletics, and the role of scripture and worship in spiritual formation.
Education
A.B., University of Maryland (1962)

S.T.B., Boston University School of Theology (1965)

Ph.D., Boston University (1970)

Professional
Member, The Academy of Homiletics (AH)

Member, The North American Association for the Catechumenate (NAAC)

Served as guest editor of Worship Arts

Ordained elder in the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church

2012 – Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Academy of Homiletics.

Publications
What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching?. C-Author. Chalice Press, 2008.
Bringing together some of the finest voices in contemporary homiletics to examine the different forms as well as the status of narrative preaching, What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching? will give readers much to ponder on this impact topic.

Teachers of preaching have long recognized that the Bible is told in story form. Yet the responses to the topic of narrative preaching have varied over the years, from singing its praises to outright rejection. The homiletical landscape is always changing, but what many thought might be a fad is still being discussed in the seminaries and practiced in many a pulpit.

Intended for both seminarians and well-practiced preachers, What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching? includes essays from more than a dozen well-respected homileticians, taking readers through the past, present, and possible future impact of narrative preaching.

Rochester College Lectures on Preaching Vol. 4: Preaching Hebrews. Co-Author. ACU Press, 2003.
The Rochester College Sermon Seminar and the series of books it has inspired have been built on the conviction that Christian preaching today needs revision. Such reforming begins with a close and faithful reading of Scripture, an engagement so serious that the world of Scripture ultimately sets agendas and invents expectations for meaningful life. In this present volume, too, we wish to grant the book of Hebrews the opportunity to pull all of us into the world it envisions, allowing it the power to judge, convict, and form us into a community God desires. This is not an easy task for several reasons, most notably the fact that the world of Hebrews is quite alien from our own. Like previous volumes in the Rochester Lectures on Preaching, the current work is divided into two parts. The first is a collection of four related essays meant to orient the reader to the world clearly conceived in Hebrews. The second half appropriates this orientation with sermons for particular Christian congregations.

Web of Preaching: New Options in Homiletic Method. Abingdon Press, 2002. Preaching is not so simple as it may appear. The preacher today is confronted with a dizzying array of homiletic methods and approaches, each holding important insights into how to proclaim the Good News. While pastors wish to learn from these different ways of preaching, they often do not know where to begin. Who are the best representatives of a given approach? How do the different methods relate to one another? How has the preaching scene changed in recent years?

In The Web of Preaching, Richard L. Eslinger addresses these and other questions about contemporary approaches to preaching. Surveying the most important current theories of preaching, he argues that no homiletic method can be understood on its own. The different schools of thought on preaching all intersect at such common points as Scripture, narrative, and the role of preaching in worship. A strength in one compensates for a weakness in another, and seen together, they form one comprehensive “web of preaching.”

Narrative and Imagination: Preaching the Worlds That Shape Us. Augsburg Fortress, 1995.
Eslinger’s book provides a short course on narrative hermeneutics and imagination theory, along with a proposal for integrating the two in preaching.

Bringing together some of the finest voices in contemporary homiletics to examine the different forms as well as the status of narrative preaching, What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching? will give readers much to ponder on this impact topic.

Teachers of preaching have long recognized that the Bible is told in story form. Yet the responses to the topic of narrative preaching have varied over the years, from singing its praises to outright rejection. The homiletical landscape is always changing, but what many thought might be a fad is still being discussed in the seminaries and practiced in many a pulpit.

Intended for both seminarians and well-practiced preachers, What’s the Shape of Narrative Preaching? includes essays from more than a dozen well-respected homileticians, taking readers through the past, present, and possible future impact of narrative preaching.

Intersections: Post-Critical Studies in Preaching. Editor. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1994.
Prominent homileticians and biblical scholars working in various post-critical contexts present fresh models of biblical interpretation and explore their implications for preaching.

A New Hearing: Living Options in Homiletics Method. Abingdon Press, 1987.
Preaching is in crisis. Why? Because the traditional, conceptual approach no longer works, says Richard L. Eslinger. It fails to capture the interest of listeners and is not sufficiently Scripture-based. The time has come to listen to new voices, new methods. And that is what A New Hearing provides.

Personal Life
Dick enjoys soaring and is a Certified Flight Instructor with a glider rating.