Thursday, February 18, 2010

Does anyone actually prefer endnotes?

Why do academic publishers use endnotes? Does anyone actually like them?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teresa Okure to give 2010 Clark lectures

From the Divinity School's website:

Teresa Okure, professor of New Testament and gender hermeneutics at the Catholic Institute of West Africa, will present the 2010 Duke Divinity School Clark Lectures on Feb. 17.

She will present “Reading the Gospel Miracles as Parables: Mark 5:1-20 as an Example” at 8:30 a.m. in Room 0016 Westbrook. She will present “Rediscovering ‘the New’ in the New Testament,” at 12:20 p.m. in Room 0016 Westbrook.

Both lectures are open to the public.

Okure, who lives in Nigeria, is a Sister of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She also has served in various leadership roles at the Catholic Institute of West Africa, including academic dean, dean of student affairs, and head of the Department of Biblical Studies.

A member of various national and international theological and biblical associations, Okure is a well-known biblical scholar who has lectured widely both nationally and internationally. She is the founding president of the Catholic Biblical Association of Nigeria (CABAN) and a co-editor of the new Biblical Commentary Series, Texts@Contexts, the first volumes of which are due to appear in November, published by Fortress Press.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Neusner and the Pope

This is actually quite amusing.

"If you think our walk to the heart of Catholic Christianity precipitated long, long thoughts of history and family — what would the first Jacob Neusner, my grandfather from Koretz in Volhynia Gubernya and Beverly, Massachusetts, who died seventy-seven years ago, a few months before I was born, have thought today, how many Jewish scholars had had occasion to walk through those palatial rooms and what brought them to call on the Pope, and as guard after guard saluted my wife and me how often kippah-wearing visitors received the Swiss guards’ salute — if you thought it was these thoughts of who and where I was, you’re mistaken. Midway through the walk from room to room, I had the awful thought that my fly was open. I checked. It was — but not for long."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wrede helped invent "the community"

As Stephen mentioned in these comments, Richard Bauckham has suggested that Streeter (The Four Gospels: A Story of Origins, 1924) was one of the first scholars to read the Gospels as if they were written for insular communities, a shift which led to the contemporary notion that the Gospels are, in part at least, about these communities.

It appears that William Wrede was an earlier, more important precursor to the "community" approach.

In The Messianic Secret (1901), Wrede criticizes his contemporaries for forgetting that the Gospels are "just a later narrator's conception of Jesus' life." Coming to grips with this fact, Wrede argues, entails paying more attention to the way the Gospels served the needs of their communities:

I should never for an instant lose sight of my awareness that I have before me descriptions, the authors of which are later - albeit relatively early - Christians. These Christians could only look at the life of Jesus with the eyes of their own time and describe it on the basis of the belief of the community, with all the viewpoints of the community, and with the needs of the community in mind. (Introduction, emphasis added)

Of course, this assumption is essential for Wrede's explanation of the messianic secret as an attempt by Mark and his precursors to make non-messianic Jesus traditions conform to a growing belief that Jesus was the messiah, not just after his resurrection, but during his earthly ministry as well.

Given the influence that The Messianic Secret had on form criticism, I think we should look here when assigning blame or credit for the looming presence of "the community" in our exegetical imaginations.