Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge: Reading a Biblical Narrative in Today’s Church and World

Karl Möller, Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge: Reading a Biblical Narrative in Today’s Church and World

London: SCM Press, 2023

Jonah’s Story, Our Challenge introduces readers to the most inspiring readings of the book of Jonah from a range of angles, including historical, literary, and psychological ones. It specifically facilitates engagement with contextual, liberationist, and postcolonial readings that afford us fresh and often challenging perspectives from around the world. And it embraces ecological interpretation and its insights about Jonah, thus seeking to encourage ecological reading of the Bible more generally. The book is designed to let different and at times contradictory readings stand alongside each other, thus allowing for multiple voices to be heard. Questions interspersed throughout the text encourage further reflection and discussion of the range of interpretations showcased here, while seeking to tease out their implications for our engagement with the biblical text.

John Barton, Emeritus Oriel & Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, University of Oxford

This is an extraordinarily wide-ranging study of many possible ways of reading the book of Jonah, based on close knowledge of all the major types of biblical interpretation in use today – from now traditional ‘historical-critical’ approaches all the way to postcolonial and ecological readings. In the process, Karl Möller introduces the reader into the current scene in biblical studies in an attractive and approachable way. An ideal book for anyone beginning to study the Bible, but with much to teach even experienced readers who may be bewildered by the variety of methods now encountered, and who need a re-orientation. Jonah turns out to be an ideal text to try out various methods. Highly recommended!

Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, Örebro School of Theology, Sweden

This thoughtful and far-reaching book emphasises the inherent plasticity of the book of Jonah and reveals its interpretative richness and diversity. Möller challenges us to re-evaluate our own preconceived ideas of what the book of Jonah is all about and guides us towards a fuller appreciation of the multiple and often mutually contradictory interpretations of the book.


  • Jonah’s Readers: Perspectives on Interpretation
  • Jonah’s World: Historical and Social Science Perspectives
  • Jonah’s Art and Reception: The Poetics of a Biblical Narrative
  • Jonah’s Challenge: Contextual, Liberationist and Postcolonial Interpretation
  • Jonah’s Depths: Psychological Biblical Criticism
  • Jonah’s ‘Otherkind’: Ecological Readings

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