Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Conference on The Reception and Interpretation of the Bible in Late Antiquity

This on-line description of an 'International Colloquium' on The Reception and Interpretation of the Bible in Late Antiquity at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 11-13 October 2006 includes a list of papers and a rationale for the meeting.

"This colloquium explores the reception and interpretation of the Bible in Christianity and Judaism of the late antique period (circa the second to seventh centuries). Three panels of papers are devoted to Patristic texts, and one panel each to the early Rabbinic literature, the Gnostic texts, and the post-biblical Jewish and Christian apocrypha"

Robert L. Wilken (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA) The Novelty and Inescapability of the Bible in Late Antiquity
Charles Kannengiesser (Concordia University, Montreal) Scripture as a Legacy of the Fathers Invited Participants and Papers

Pablo Argárate (University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto), Penitential Biblical Texts in Maximus Confessor’s Logos Asketikos
Herbert W. Basser (Queen's University, Kingston, Ont.), What Makes Exegesis either Christian or Jewish?
D. Jeffrey Bingham (Dallas Theological Seminary, TX), The Bible and Hellenism in Early Christian Polemic
Pamela Bright (Concordia University, Montreal), The Word Made Flesh: The Christological Frame of Hermeneutics in Augustine
Tony Chartrand-Burke (York University), Completing the Gospel: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas as an Addition to the Gospel of Luke
J. Kevin Coyle (St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ont.), Good Tree, Bad Tree: The Treatment of a Biblical Theme in Manichaeism and Its Adversaries
Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University, Montreal), Biblical Form and Function in the Post-Biblical Historical Apocalypses
David G. Hunter (Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa), Priestly Virgins and Virginal Priests: Ambrose’s Figuration of the Ancient Levitical Priesthood
Shawn W.J. Keough (Univ of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto), The Eternal Gospel: Origen’s Eschatological Exegesis
Richard A. Layton (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL), When Literal Does Not Mean Historical: Origen’s Literal Interpretation of the Song of Songs
B. Barry Levy (McGill University, Montreal), What Did the Ancient Rabbis Mean When They Said Someone ‘Wrote’ a Biblical Book?
Jack N. Lightstone (Brock University, St. Catharines, Ont.), The Early Rabbinic Refashioning of Biblical Heilsgeschichte, the Fashioning of the Rabbinic Canon of the Scriptures, and the Formation of the Early Rabbinic Movement
Anne Pasquier (Université Laval, Quebec City, Que), Présupposés herméneutiques de la lecture de la Bible juive chez les gnostiques et procédés exégétiques
Lorenzo Perrone (Università di Bologna, Italy), Scripture for a Life of Perfection: The Reception of the Bible within Late Antique Monasticism
Timothy Pettipiece (Université Laval, Quebec City, Que), Separating Light from Darkness: Biblical Traditions in Manichaean Exegesis
Pierluigi Piovanelli (University of Ottawa), The Reception of Hebrew and Christian Scriptures in Late-Antique Apocryphal Texts
Paul-Hubert Poirier, Thomas Schmidt et Jean-Michel Lavoie (Université Laval, Quebec City, Que) Les scholies sur l’Evangile de Luc de Titus de Bostra
Gary Porton (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL), Methods of Early Rabbinic Biblical Exegesis
Annette Yoshiko Reed (McMaster University, Ont.), Pseudepigraphy, Authority, and Biblical Interpretation
Lucian Turcescu (Concordia University, Montreal), Gregory of Nyssa and Biblical Hermeneutics

The rationale is as follows.

"The idea of the proposed colloquium grew out of the publication of the magisterial, two-volume Handbook of Patristic Exegesis: The Bible in Ancient Christianity (Brill, 2004), by our distinguished colleague, Professor Dr. Charles Kannengiesser, and his collaborators. Specialists worldwide have already proclaimed that the Handbook will stand as the new benchmark in the field for decades to come. Professor Kannengiesser was the successor to Cardinal Jean Daniélou at the Institut Catholique in Paris, Catherine Huisking Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Notre Dame, and a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He is the author of an impressive number of other books and articles whose subject matter is highly relevant to this colloquium."

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David Gunn's unit on the Reception of Samuel

I came across this course description a couple of days ago. It is for a unit on the reception of the books of Samuel delivered in 2002 by David Gunn, author of the Judges commentary in the Blackwell Bible Commentary series. I don't know if it has been taught since, but I hope so.


HEBI 95963:Issues in Hebrew Bible: Reception of the Books of Samuel

Course description

A widely ranging investigation of the reception history of the Books of Samuel with special attention to the figures of David and Bathsheba. Topics include early Jewish literature, medieval theology and art, Bible illustration, reformation politics, renaissance sculpture, baroque painting, children's literature, and contemporary novels and movies. A study of the Bible and Western culture.

Class Schedule

January 15 Course introduction

January 22 Renaissance sculpture

January 29 Reformation theology and politics

February 12 Medieval theology and art

February 19 Early Jewish and Christian literature

February 26 Movies

March 5 Scripture biography

March 19 Voltaire and the deists

March 26 Baroque painting

April 2 Group presentation

April 9 Children's literature

April 16 Drama and novels

April 23 Group presentation [Last class]

May 6 Critical review due at 3:00pm

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Jesus the Gunslinger

This evening I caught part of the Today Show with Jon Stewart. Bitingly sarcastic, the guy makes me laugh without even opening his mouth. But this evening there was great sentence from someone during one of the reports, this one on selling the idea of using guns to the Vatican !?!

"If Jesus had had a handgun, do you think he might have won?"

Now why didn't I think of that. Probably because he really needed a flamethrower to do the job right :)

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Teen Bibles?

James Crossley has a hugely funny/tragic piece on teen bibles in the SBL forum. The NIV translation has now been so often surrounded by group-specific commentary that one wonders exactly what message is being sent here by publishers. Is it that the Bible really is applicable to all? Or is it that it really needs all of these accretions to even function in these settings? Or is it that its readers are just really stupid? The ongoing development of the NIV is becoming a reception issue in itself (I have always loved the idea of a spirit-filled Bible myself).

As James points out in this case, however, one common effect of the accretions can be to make the Bible subservient to some stereotypical cultural ideology. This means that one lot of texts are read (? - invoked?) as reinforcing the status quo and another (very large) set are not read at all. I wonder what this version does with Deuteronomy texts on caring for the poor and the widows, for example? Equally what do they do with holy war texts? Or on Jesus eating with sinners? Not a lot, I guess. Are teens really this shallow? Doubtful. Do older people think that they are. Oh yeah.

Most depressing for me is the thought that any useful liberative potential that the biblical text might possibly possess is painted over in orange/black and pink/peach/sky blue. I think I am going to be ill….

James, I am not an American as you know, but I’ll risk clarifying the 0 for 0 comment for you. American sports often use 0 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses, to indicate a teams progress. So I guess 0 for 0 means that you haven’t played yet :) Incidentally one of the best laughs I have had during a film was during Clint Eastwood’s Heartbreak Ridge. The US marines’ score is given as 0, 1, 1. 0 wins, 1 draw (the Korean War), and 1 loss (Vietnam). When Grenada is invaded at the end of the film, the score becomes 1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss. Don’t you just love it!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Making things harder than they need to be ?!?

Just fished this out of the spam trap. Maybe its just me, but isn't the idea that you set a deadline date and at the end of that day, the deadline happens. Obvious. Not for the SBL, so those of you who are late submitters should be careful here.

"Deadline for paper proposals [for the 2007 Annual Meeting]: March 1 (the Call closes at midnight February 28th)."

"Deadline for paper proposals [for the 2007 International Meeting]: January 15 (the Call closes at midnight January 14th)."

Why, guys? Why?

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Philip Davies on the SBL Annual Meeting

Jim West has a fascinating response to the SBL Annual Meeting from Philip Davies. The following quote made me laugh particularly.

"Fashion is the manifestation of neophilia and the SBL is the Milan or Paris of the biblical fashion trade, complete with its catwalks and supermodels."

Followed by

" Yes, the SBL is like a discotheque without the music; a frantic round of networking, updating, image polishing, and even learning. "

More tellingly, Philip concludes: "I get very little scholarly knowledge out of the SBL, and I don’t expect to. But without being there I would never have understood the sociology of knowledge as well as I do (still not all that well). That’s what it is all about, though."

It all sees such a shame that our institutions really want us to do papers (and the SBL obliges with millions and zillions of seminar spaces) when all we really want to do get together and chill.

BTW, Sean, did you actually go? Or is your blogging silence due to shellshock at the experience? :)

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