Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
7-9 June/Juin 1993


Programme with Abstracts


CSBS Executive Committee Meeting/Réunion du Comité executif de la SCÉB

N.B. Unless otherwise noted, room numbers given are for Southam Hall



A. Hebrew Bible/Bible Hébraique                                                                                   Room 502
Presiding/Président: Glen Taylor (Wycliffe College)

9:00 Ehud Ben Zvi (U. of Alberta) “A Sense of Proportion: An Aspect of the Theology of the Chronicler.”

It is the contention of this paper that the Chronicler (i.e., the author/s of 1-2 Chronicles) sets in their “proper” theological perspective the lessons that the historical audience may have learned from some individual accounts by contrasting them with the message of other accounts. In this way, the Chronicler builds into the text, and conveys to the audience, a sense of proportion which characterizes much of 1-2 Chronicles. This paper will focus on this sense of proportion in regards to issues such as (a) the existence of a correspondence between actions and effects regulated by God, (b) freedom of choice and the degree of external influences that may affect this freedom, (c) the strictly human (i.e., not superhuman) character the kind, (d) possible sources of sin.

9:30 Robert Culley (McGill U.) “The Temple in Psalms 84, 63, and 42-43”

It is surprising how few substantial references to the temple one can find in the Book of Psalms. There are many places where the temple is mentioned but not many of these give a very full impression of the ways in which the temple was perceived and understood by the poets. Of the few psalms that offer significant references, I would like to consider Psalms 84, 63 and 42-43. These three are interesting because they employ similar language and imagery. I would like to explore these in order to see the relationship presented between temple and individual and what perception of the temple it suggest.

10:00 BREAK

10:30 John Van Seters (U. North Carolina) “The Distribution of  Land to the Eastern Tribes (Num. 32:33-42): Does this Preserve an Ancient Colonization from the West?”

The paper will first examine the relationship of the D version of land distribution in Deut. 3:12-17 with its J counterpart in Num. 32:33-42. These will then be viewed briefly in their larger narrative contexts. The proposal of a migration or colonization of the eastern region from the west by the tribe of Machir, recently supported by M. Weinfeld, will be taken up and reexamined. The earlier arguments by A. Lemaire that dispute the evidence for such a migration will be considered. This study not only affirms the correctness of Lemaire’s position but draws important implications for J’s historiography in Numbers and for his relationship to D and to questions of biblical geography.

11:00 Susan Slater Kuzak (Atlantic School of Theology) “Rhetoric and the Reader in Deuteronomy 1-3”

The rhetoric of Deuteronomy 1-3 works to encourage a sense of identity with the community addressed by the text while at the same time reminding the reader of genuine distance from the events of Moses’ speech. Particular readers or reading communities, however, may find it difficult, impossible or injudicious to enter into the identity proposed by the text. This paper will move from some examples of the positioning of the projected reader in Deuteronomy 1-3 to a consideration of some questions raised when actual readers have difficulty bridging the identity gap.

11:30 Donald Stoesz (Québec, QC) “Mieke Bal, Anthropological Evidence, and Patrilocality in the Book of Judges.”

This paper tests Mieke Bars hypothesis that violence against women in the book of Judges is a consequence of a cultural transformation from patrilocality (matriarchy) to virilocality (patriarchy). According to Bal, the tension between husband and fatherinlaw that this shift in kinship patterns produced resulted in a victimization of their wives and/or daughters. Although persuasive on a structural level, Bal’s argument is less convincing in the light of anthropology. Roland de Vaux, among others, has maintained that patrilocality was not widespread in ancient Israelite society. This article brings further data and insights to bear on this matter.


B. Christian Origins/Origines chrétiennes                                                                      Room 520
Presiding/Présidente: Margaret MacDonald (U. Ottawa)

9:00 Barry Henaut (U. of Ottawa) “The Death of John the Baptist and the Psychology of Fairy Tales (Mark 6:14-29)”

Psychological depth analysis, both Freudian (B. Bettelheim) and Jungian (M. L. von Franz), has been applied for some time to fairy tales, but far less frequently to the gospels. Although no less a figure than Bultmann noted the similarity between folk tales and the so-called laws of transmission at work in the synoptic materials, still, the gospels have remained by and large hermeneutically apart from this literature. But a comparison between the gospel narrative and the folk tale is initially promising due to the known connections of many of the Jesus tradition parables with folklore. I propose, therefore, a reader-response exegesis of John the Baptist’s death in Mark which will be informed by the insights of psychology.

9:30 Michael Pettem (U. de Montréal) “Luke’s Greater Omission and Dietary Purity”

In the book of Acts, Luke shows how the early church came to the decision not to require obedience to the Mosaic Law by gentile believers. In particular, the gentiles are not subject to any dietary restrictions, except for those mentioned in Acts 15. In contrast, nowhere does Luke indicate that the Mosaic Law in general, or dietary purity in particular, is abrogated for Jewish believers in Christ. Yet, Mk. 7:1-23 explicitly declares all food clean. This contradiction is a key to understanding why Luke has no section parallel to Mk. 6:45-8:26.

10:00 BREAK

10:30 Alicia Batten (Emmanuel College) “Dishonour, Hospitality or Both? Perceptions of the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son”

This paper begins by exploring the dynamics of honour, shame and patriarchy in the ancient Mediterranean. Honour and shame did not necessarily function in the same manner for women as they did for men. As a woman’s world was essentially that of the household, she may have been more concerned with hospitality and solidarity than with public displays of honour. In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the father’s actions are often thought to be strange. No first century Mediterranean patriarch would run to embrace his son after the boy had so dishonoured his family and village by first demanding his inheritance and subsequently wasting it in loose living. Yet women may have considered his behaviour to be entirely normal. Thus when we take women’s perspectives into account, we can pose new questions not only about the father’s actions, but about the interpretation of the parable as a whole.

11:00 Robert MacKenzie (McGill U.) “Poetics and Biblical Interpretation”

The approach to biblical interpretation championed by Meir Sternberg seeks to do justice to the communicative poetics of narrative. It resists the temptation to apply predetermined literary categories to texts, but instead attempts to discover a story’s literary strategies through careful reading. This represents an advance in the understanding of many narratives, especially those which have traditionally been analyzed chiefly from the standpoint of source criticism. Sternberg’s insights are particularly helpful for the interpretation of the opening portions of the Lukan birth narratives.

11:30 Edith Humphrey (Bishop’s U.) “Collision of Modes? Vision and Argument in Acts 10:1-11:18”

In a previous discussion of the rhetorical function of visions, I noted that whenever visions are used within argumentation, there is a potential collision of modes of expression. Vision reports have the potential to take on a life of their own, and tend towards polyvalence; this tendency is somewhat but not absolutely circumscribed when vision forms a part of deductive speech. This phenomenon can be fruitfully observed in Luke’s use of vision within the story of Cornelius and Peter. The sequence is especially intriguing from the perspective of rhetorical study because of the repetition and variation of the recapitulated visions. In particular, the increasing vividness of the accounts, and the unfolding theological purpose which is imported into each successive vision report demonstrate the subtle interplay between narrative and argument.


13:15-14:30                                                                                                                       Room 520
CSBS Student Prize Essays/Gagnants du concours de la SCÉB ouvert aux étudiants
Presiding/Président: David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College)

13:15 The 1992 Joachim Jeremias Prize: Ernest Janzen (U. of Toronto) “Numismatic Windows into the Social World of the Apocalypse”

13:50 The 1992 Founders’ Prize: Richard Ascough (Toronto School or Theology) “From Isis to Jesus: The Formation or the Early Church at Philippi from a Women’s Voluntary Association.”

Acts 16:11-15 records the conversion or a number or women gathered at the riverside near Philippi. Most scholars argue that the meeting was a Jewish gathering. However, the factors which lead to this conclusion are problematic at best and are probably Lukan.  This paper will investigate the environment in which Christianity took hold at Philippi to reevaluate the information provided by Luke. R. E. Witt has suggested that “the scene at Philippi by the riverside with women at their prayer meeting might suggest a devotion to Isis Regina.” Our investigation indicates that this is a possibility which deserves more attention.


14:30-15:45                                                                                                                       Room 520
CSBS Annual Business Meeting/Séance d’affaires annuelle de la SCÉB

16:00-17:00                                                                                              Loeb Building, Room 264
CSBS Presidential Address/Discours présidentiel de la SCÉB
Presiding/Président: Harold Remus (Wilfrid Laurier U.)

David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College) “Hannah’s Desire”


18:30-21:00                                                                       CourtYard Restaurant, Market Square
CSBS Annual Dinner/Banquet annuel de la SCÉB



8:30-12:00 Hebrew Bible/Bible Hébraique                                                                     Room 502
Presiding/Présidente: Eileen Schuller (McMaster U.)

Terence Kleven (Memorial U. of Newfoundland/Queen’s College) “On the Comprehensiveness of Biblical Law in M. Fishbane’s Interpretation in Ancient Israel.”

M. Fishbane’s Interpretation in Ancient Israel (1985) is one of the most comprehensive and learned books to be published in biblical studies in this century. His astute observation of the interplay between authoritative tradition (traditum) and the interpretation, and more precisely, the transformation, of this tradition by subsequent generations (traditio) is introduced in the context of both eastern and western world religions. His specific task in this book is to exemplify the existence of the interpretative process (what he calls “innerbiblical exegesis” and what became known later as midrash) in the Hebrew Bible itself, that is, in those books which are often thought to be a monolithic, comprehensive and authoritative formulation. One of the main ingredients in his argument is that biblical law is by no means a complete order for all of life, and therefore the Hebrew Bible requires the exegesis of its laws. Fishbane’s demonstration of the lack of comprehensiveness of the law attests to the profound sense of the historicity depicted in many biblical passages. Our inquiry focuses on two questions. First, is the biblical representation of the centrality of history deliberate? Second, does prohibition against the worship of images, which provide a universal guideline for the legal judgment of particular and, thus, unique cases? Moreover, is the biblical representation of these roots also monolithic or does the subtle complexity of their presentation preclude dogmatic formulations?

Gary Knoppers (Pennsylvania State U.) “‘Solomon Clung to them in Love’: Sex, Religion, and Politics in I Kgs. 11:1-4”

The pseudo-citation of legal tradition in I Kgs. 11:2 to criticize Solomon is a fascinating example of inner-biblical exegesis. Fishbane contends that 1 Kgs. 11:1-4 is an early postexilic exegetical expansion of the old Canaanite population roster, which draws upon both Ezra 9:1 and Deut. 23:4. In my judgment, the most likely referents for 1 Kgs. 11:1-4 are, however, Josh 23:11-13 and Deut. 7:14. Solomon’s relations to foreign women are described employing the terminology of Josh 23:12 and the consequences of his actions closely parallel the terminology of Deut. 7:4. I would attribute I Kgs. 11:1-4 to the Deuteronomist, who, consistent with deuteronomic law, views marriage to foreign wives a problematic. The interpretation in Ezra 9:1 can, in turn, be clarified by recognizing its indebtedness to the exegetical strategy employed by the Deuteronomist in 1 Kgs. 11:1-4.

William Morrow (Queen’s Theological College) “Biblical Law and Mesopotamian Precedent”

The claim that the composition of third person case law in the Bible was under the influence of principles first used in Mesopotamian jurisprudence is not new. But this claim has recently been restated by the legal scholar Raymond Westbrook. Among other things, his work calls into question assumptions about the composition of biblical case law collections which are often made by source critics. Implications of Westbrook’s thought will be explored with regard to the collection of third person laws in Exod. 21:12-22:19.

10:00 BREAK

A. (ii) Trajectories of Biblical Tradition / Trajectoires bibliques                                   Room 502
Presiding/Président: Harold Remus (Wilfrid Laurier U.)

10:30 Ritva Williams (Carleton University) “Eschatology and Martyrdom in Ignatius of Antioch”

Ignatius of Antioch’s (ca. 110 C.E.) views concerning his impending martyrdom are best understood within the context of his eschatological world view. He believes that he is living and participating in the drama of the end times. Ignatius sees his death as a means of personal salvation and of personal vindication. It will legitimate his vision for the church. His martyrdom also represents his own personal engagement in the great cosmic warfare between Christ and the ruler of this age. Ignatius is prepared to die as a “sacrifice of God” (Rom. 4.2) in the interests of Christian unity (Mag. 1.2).

11:00 Jack Lightstone (Concordia U.) “From Rabbinic Scribes to Scholastic Rabbis: Comparison of the Use and Social Meaning of Language in the Mishnah and in the Babylonian Talmud”

This paper attempts to shed light upon the character and meaning of the recurrent rhetorical features of the Babylonian Talmud. In order to gain some perspective upon the Bavli’s rhetorical language, we undertake a comparison of the latter and the use of language in evidence in the Mishnah, the foundational work of ancient Rabbinism and the “base-text” for the Babylonian Talmud. Such a comparison demonstrates that while Mishnah, and to a large measure Tosefta, use language to concatenate items into hierarchical lists, the Babylonian Talmud abandons almost totally this listenwissenschaftliche preoccupation—this despite the authority of such tannaitic sources for the Bavli’s redactors. Talmudic use of language, by contrast, is relational and analytic. By using structured sequences of stock and formulaic “logical operators,” Bavli attends overwhelmingly to the possible relations which may entail among things. As such, Bavli’s recurrent linguistic formularies undertake (for their own sake) certain types of exploratory, largely associative, analyses. It is this analytic and exploratory agenda, pervasive in Bavli, which generates Bavli’s composites. In conclusion, the paper argues that Bavli’s use of language, on the one hand, and Mishnah’s or Tosefta’s, on the other, implicitly communicate different sets of social meanings and help construct quite different forms of social organization within early Rabbinism.

11:30 Eileen Schuller (McMaster U.) “The Cave 4 Hodayot Manuscripts at Qumran”

I am currently preparing the Hodayot manuscripts from Cave 4 for publication in a forthcoming volume of Discoveries in the Judaean Desert. There are six manuscripts of the Hodayot, five on animal skins and one on papyrus, comprising about 114 fragments. These manuscripts overlap with 1QH and the combinations of all the manuscript evidence now enables us to restore sections of text, varying from only a few words to major sections of a half dozen or so hymns. We are now able to discuss whether all manuscripts had the same order and the same hymns. This paper will examine some of the significant features of the 4QHodayot manuscripts and highlight one or two specific texts.


B. Christian Origins/Origines chrétiennes                                                                      Room 520
Presiding/Président: John Kloppenborg (U. of St. Michael’s College)

8:30 Stephen Muir (U. of Ottawa) “Jesus as Healer and Mediator of Salvation in Mark”

In Mark 10:46-52 and 5:21-43, the evangelist combines healing, salvific and discipleship motifs. These narratives particularise the salvific quality of Jesus’ healings and they identify Jesus as a mediator and agent of divine salvation. These stories also demonstrate that the persons healed had demonstrated faith that Jesus was a mediator of salvific power and that they acted like his followers. By associating healing with salvation and discipleship, the evangelist creatively responded to the crisis of persecution that was the community context of first century Christianity. By encouraging his audience to identify with the faithful followers of Jesus who had been saved from illness, the writer reassured them that Jesus also could save them from persecution.

9:00 Brad Eastman (McMaster U.) “Grace in the Corinthian Letters”

As part of an ongoing investigation of the significance and centrality of grace in Paul’s thought, this paper examines the concept of grace in the Corinthian correspondence in light of several questions. How is grace an answer to the human dilemma? What role does grace play in 1 and 2 Corinthians and how does it relate to Paul’s ethical demands? Does Paul show an awareness of a tension between grace and works and, if so, what does he do to resolve it?

9:30 Terence Donaldson (College of Emmanuel & St. Chad) “Abraham’s Gentile Offspring: Contratextuality and Conviction in Romans 4”

This paper has as its focus Paul’s attempt in Romans 4 to argue on the basis or Gen. 15 and 17 that believing but uncircumcised Gentiles are to be considered as “Abraham’s offspring.” What is striking about this argument is the apparent categorical exclusion of such a possibility in Gen. 17, where circumcision is the sine qua non of membership among Abraham’s descendants. This argumentative strategy “against the text” is even more striking in view of references to the “nations” in the Abraham story (Gen. 12:3; 17:5) that could have provided Paul with scriptural justification for a “softer” or “righteous Gentile” way of including the Gentiles in salvation. My assumption, in keeping with recent Pauline scholarship, is that jumps and discontinuities on the surface of Paul’s rhetorical logic are to be seen as indicators of the deeper interplay of his fundamental convictions. My purpose, then is to press beneath the troubled rhetorical surface of the argument here in order to discern the nature of Paul’s underlying convictions about the Gentiles.

10:00 Break

10:30 Jean Francois Racine (U. of St. Michael’s College) “Romans 13:1-7: Mere Preservation of the Social Order?”

Rom. 13:1-7 is so distant from a certain picture which one has of Paul that one might be inclined to deny that the apostle has ever written this passage. This paper intends to examine how Rom. 13:1-7 fits within the general framework of the letter to the Romans. Consequently, it will look at the authenticity, the form, the context, the purpose, and the meaning of the passage before suggesting its possible source in the Old Testament, Graeco-Roman literature, and Jewish-Hellenistic literature. This investigation should show that in this passage, Paul does not propose a blind obedience to civil authorities, but rather an intelligent attitude favorizing the development of Christianity.

11:00 Philippa Carter (Toronto, ON) “The Nature of Jesus’ Exousia in John 10:17-18”

Interpreters stress the voluntary nature of Jesus’ act of laying down his life (and taking it up again) in John 10:17-18, while at the same time insisting on the close relationship between Jesus and God in these verses. Less attention has been paid, however, to the meaning of exousian echo in v. 18. Based on the use of the phrase in other contexts, I argue that the phrase exousian echo here means more than “to have authority” notably authority from God, (cf. John 19:10-11), or simply “to be able to”. Comprehending the nature of Jesus’ authority in John 10:18 is vital in understanding the evangelist’s christology.

11:30 JoAnn Brant Martens (Canadian Mennonite Bible College) “‘Eros’ in the Gospel of John”

In recent years, studies on love in the fourth Gospel have focused upon the possible existence of a Johannine “community” or “school.” These studies often lead to the conclusion that the love commandment in the gospel represents an excluse or inferior love, especially in comparison to its counterpart in the Synoptics. In order to understand the Johannine notion of love, however, one must take the narrative into account. The characters of the gospel act in a manner best described in the language of Plato’s erotic love. The understanding of love which emerges from this reading compels one to reject any truncated view of love, be it sectarian or even the supposedly essential distinction between eros and agape proposed by Anders Nygren.

12:00 BREAK


13:00-14:15                                                                                                                       Room 520
Politics and the Bible Seminar/Séminaire sur la politique et la Bible
Invitational Lecture
Presiding/Président: David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College)

Lee Cormie (U. of St. Michael’s College) “Liberation Hermeneutics”

Through exploring the recent history of popular struggles, I wish to confirm: the effective hermeneutical privilege of the affluent and powerful marking the debates over all important issues; the corresponding necessity of the hermeneutical privilege of the oppressed; its relativization by the profusion of different voices and standpoints; key signposts pointing a way forward of broadening solidarity and deepening commitment to all poor and oppressed peoples, and to the earth itself. I will be especially concerned to clartfy how popular groups have been finding the Bible a source of illumination anclarifyration in these struggles, in which the future of all of life—on earth and in the heavens above—is at stake.

Respondent: Leif Vaage (Emmanuel College/Toronto School of Theology)


14:30-15:30                                                                                                                       Room 624
C.T.S. Presidential Address: Jim Olthuis



A. Politics and the Bible Seminar / Séminaire sur la politique et la Bible                     Room 520
Ideology and Biblical Interpretation (1)
Presiding/Président: David Hawkin (Memorial U. of Newfoundland)

J. Richard Middleton (Inst. for Christian Studies) “Genesis as Ideology Critique: A Socio-Political Reading of Creation in God’s Image”

Although there has been no shortage of studies (whether linguistic, literary, or theological) on the meaning of creation in God’s image in Genesis 1:26-27, the socio-political dimensions of the text have so far been largely ignored. By paying attention to other ancient Near Eastern creation accounts, possible Egyptian and Akkadian parallels to selem elohim, as well as to the rhetorical world disclosed by Genesis 1:1-2:3 as a literary unit, and the place of this unit within the larger canonical literary wholes in which it appears, this paper will propose a reading of the text as ideologically interested. In particular, it will be argued that Genesis 1:26-27 not only dissents from Neo-Babylonian ideology concerning creation and sacral kingship (and thereby from the social order which this ideology legitimated), but that it proclaims an alternative socio-political vision which imaginatively re-articulates the core of Israel’s Yahwistic faith for an exilic situation.

Walter Deller (Toronto) “Ideologies of Disgust and the Control of Sexuality”

“Abomination,” the classical rendering of the Hebrew term tô’ebâ, is, in and of itself, a virtually meaningless word. It appears primarily in polemic contexts, especially in Ezekiel. This paper will survey its non-polemic use in the canonical literature and attempt to clarify its associations and meaning. Drawing on Douglas and others 1 will explore how the particular type of “taboo” evoked by the term is used to create an ideology of irrational disgust and violence which becomes a vehicle for social control, particularly in the area of sexual behaviour.

Sandra Walker-Ramisch (Concordia U.) “Methodological & Epistemological Blocks in Feminist Biblical Scholarship”

In this paper I take a critical look at the ever-increasing volume of work done by feminist scholars on the literature of the Bible. While recognizing that this work has been in many respects revolutionary, I argue that much of it remains encapsulated by the androcentric discourse of its epistemology and methodology. Insofar as a large proportion of feminist scholars who have written on this literature have adopted the methods of classical historical criticism (and its appropriation of the methods of the social sciences) with its agenda of scientific historical reconstruction or retrieval, they have adopted also the thoroughly androcentric discourse of that methodology, failing to provide for method the same contextualization that they have provided for subject—androcentric texts and their interpretations. I argue that ultimately the type of discourse and the canons of validation mandated by historical criticism are incommensurate with feminist discourse, and conclude with the proposal that norms of discourse and canons of validation in feminist biblical scholarship be grounded in the discourse of feminist attics.

Respondent: David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College)


B. Voluntary Associations Seminar /                                                                               Room 502
Séminaire sur les associations voluntaires
Presiding/Président: Steve Wilson (Carleton U.)

Harold Remus (Wilfrid Laurier U.) “Voluntary Association at the Asclepieion in Pergamum in the Second Century C.E.”

This paper examines social relations at the Asclepieion at Pergamum in the second century C.E., as reported by Aelius Aristides, and how these relations conceived of as social “networks”—figures in Aristides’ return to health and the practice of rhetoric.

John Kloppenborg (U. of St. Michael’s College) “Edwin Hatch, Churches and Collegia”

This paper discusses: (a) the work of Edwin Hatch, one of the first to propose Graeco-Roman voluntary associations as a helpful analogy for understanding the formation of (Pauline) churches; (b) the (non)reception of his thesis in the past century of scholarship; and (c) analyses of some of the methodological issues raised by the reactions to Hatch.

Bradley H. McLean (St. John’s College) “The Agrippinilla Inscription: Religious Associations and Early Church Formation”

The Agrippinilla inscription (ca. 150 CE) is located on the base of a sculpture dedicated to Pompeia Agrippinilla, a priestess of a dionysiac association and wife of M. Gavius Squilla S Gallicanus, one time proconsul of Asia. The inscription lists the names of 402 mystai who belonged to this thiasoi and contributed towards the cost of erecting the statue. Also included is an elaborate hierarchy of functionary titles, unequalled among dionysiac inscriptions. This paper will discuss the organizational model of this religious association, its titles and internal structures, the prosopography, role of women, slaves and freedmen, and the rationale for its membership and recruitment. Finally, analogies with early church formation will be identified and their significance discussed.

Wrapup and prospects for 1994

N.B. Papers are circulated in advance to seminar members. At the session, each paper will be introduced by a 5-10 minute précis.


20:00-22:00                                                                                                                       Theatre A
Joint Session with CSSR, CTS, CSPS—Craigie Lecture

John Dominic Crossan “Jesus as Peasant”

Reception following




A. Historical Jesus Seminar/Séminaire sur le Jesus historique                                     Room 520
Presiding/Président: John Kloppenborg (U. of St. Michael’s College)

9:00 Presentations by Burton Mack (Claremont U.) and Jane Schaberg (U. of Detroit) Response by Willi Braun (U. of Toronto), Sandra Walker-Ramisch (Carleton U.)

N.B. Papers will be distributed to participants ahead of time; they will not be read in this session.

10:30 BREAK

Presiding/Président: Michel Desjardins

10:45 Presentations by Sean Freyne (U. of Dublin) and Halvor Moxnes (U. of Oslo)

Response by Bill Arnal (U. of Toronto); Edith Humphrey (Bishop’s U.)


B. (i) Politics and the Bible Seminar / Séminaire sur la politique et la Bible                 Room 502
Ideology and Biblical Interpretation (2)
Presiding/Président: Walter Deller (Toronto)

Kim Parker (Memorial U. of Newfoundland) “Locke and Modern Critical Discourse: Showdown at Eden”

While John Locke’s preeminence as a philosopher had been well established by the early 18th century, his role as a biblical scholar has never fully been appreciated in the history of biblical interpretation. This is surprising, given the enormous attention Locke himself paid to the Bible and to biblical exegesis. This paper thus attempts to show the merit of Locke’s biblical criticism by an exploration of the exegetical methodologies of Locke’s political and theological opponents, and of Locke’s own peculiar hermeneutical stance. This study seeks to situate Locke as post- rather than pre-modern biblical exegete, aware of the shortcomings and problems that many modern biblical scholars confront.

Eugene Combs (McMaster U.) “Spinoza’s Critique of Theocracy”

Baruch Spinoza is known both as the founder of modern liberal democracy and the founder or the innovator of the historical-critical method of studying the Bible. While his biblical interpretation has largely been ignored by political scientists, his political theory has been ignored by biblical scholars. This paper seeks to uncover the way in which Spinoza’s biblical exegesis impinges upon his political philosophy by examining Spinoza’s veiled critique on the notion of the historicity of  creation and biblical theocracy, and his substitution of a doctrine of eternal necessity and its political corollary, liberal democracy.

David Hawkin (Memorial U. of Newfoundland) “The Peripheral Voice: The Gospel of John and the Challenge of Modernity”

In 1968 Ernst Käsemann described the Fourth Gospel as being “on the periphery of the early Church.” Subsequent inquiries into the “sectarian” nature of the Fourth Gospel by scholars such as Wayne Meeks have reinforced this view that the Fourth Gospel was a peripheral voice in New Testament times. The implications of this perception for both our understanding of the development of early Christianity and contemporary Christian theology are only just beginning to be explored. The Fourth Gospel, for so long a central pillar in much of modern Christian theology, is now seen to have been on the margins of acceptability in its own historical context. It is the contention of this paper that this idea is a liberating one for biblical exegesis, for it enables us to engage in a reading of recovery which sheds surprising light on what H. Paton has called “the modem predicament.”

Respondent: Sam Ajzenstat (McMaster U.)

Wrapup and prospects for 1994

10:45 BREAK

B. (ii) Hebrew Bible/Bible Hébraique                                                                              Room 502
Presiding/Président: Susan Slater Kuzak (Atlantic School of Theology)

11:15 Robert Forrest (Bishop’s U.) “Foresight or Hindsight: Amos through the Looking Glass of the Earthquake”

11:45 Joyce Rilett Wood (U. of St. Michael’s College) “Prophecy and Poetic Dialogue”

A poetic dialogue flourished among the Hebrew prophets and developed into a rich heritage of prophetic literature. Inspired by one another, prophets composed their poems from the same repertory of images, themes and topics, and frequently quoted or alluded to each other. Drawing on the immediate and distant past, creatively and not slavishly, they conspired to construct a prophetic tradition. As the tradition developed, old prophecies were updated or changed in response to new historical, intellectual and cultural experience. This paper gives examples of the poetic dialogue in the seventh and sixth centuries and explains its significance for our understanding of the various roles and contributions of the prophets.

12:15 J. Glen Taylor (Wycliffe College, U. of Toronto) “The Cults of Molek and Yahweh in Ancient Israel”

Research on the god Molek has come full circle recently, returning to the days prior to the work of Eissfeldt (1935) when everyone believed that the Old Testament bore witness to the worship of a god Molek. The recent monographs of George Heider and John Day, largely responsible for the turn around, appear to have clarified much concerning Molek, including that he was a Canaanite deity to whom the Israelites sacrificed children. But much still remains unclear. For example, what was the relationship between the cult of Molek and the Yahweh cult? And why do Baal and Molek appear to be equated in the Book of Jeremiah? I propose to reconsider the relationship between these deities and to suggest that many Israelites considered it to be closer than implied by either Heider or Day.


Historical Jesus Seminar / Séminaire sur le Jesus historique                                        Room 520
Presiding/Président: Steve Wilson (Carleton U.)

14:00 Roundtable discussion; participants include John Crossan, Burton Mack, Jane Schaberg, Sean Freyne, Halvor Moxnes, Gregory Bloomquist (St. Paul’s U., Ottawa), Paula Fredriksen (Boston U.), Lloyd Gaston (VST), M. MacDonald (U. Ottawa), Leif Vaage (Emmanuel College/TST)

15:30 BREAK

Presiding/Président: Peter Richardson (U. College, U. of Toronto)

15:45 General discussion (audience participation) and wrapup by Paula Fredriksen (Boston University)

N.B. Some details of the Historical Jesus Seminar may vary from those given above.


Other Meetings

7-10 June/juin: CCSR Annual Meeting / Réunion annuelle de la SCER
7-9 June/juin: CTS Annual Meeting / Réunion annuelle de la SCT
7-9 June/juin: CSPS Annual Meeting / Réunion annuelle de l’ACEP
7-10 June/juin: CSSR Annual General Meeting / Séance d’affaires annuelle
7-9 June/juin: CTS Annual General Meeting / Séance d’affaires annuelle

 The local representative for the 1993 meeting is
Prof. Stephen Wilson, Carleton University

Main Page / Page d’accueil

Page created by: John L. McLaughlin
Maintained by:
Richard S. Ascough
Last update:
December 20, 2004