CSBS-SCEB


Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
Universite du Quebec à Montreal
31 May/mai 2 June/juin 1995

 

Programme with Abstracts

TUESDAY, 30 MAY / MARDI, LE 30 MAI

10:00-17:00—N-7550
CSBS EXECUTIVE MEETING /
RÉUNION DU COMITÉ EXECUTIF DE LA SCÉB

 

WEDNESDAY, 31 MAY / MERCREDI, LE 31 MAI

9:00-13:00—A-2830
A. HEBREW BIBLE / BIBLE HÉBRAIQUE
Presiding/Président: Kim I. Parker (Memorial U.)

9:00 Adele Reinhartz (McMaster U.) “Anonymity and Identity: The Case of Jephthah’s Daughter”

Phyllis Trible, Mieke Bal, and other commentators on Judges 11 have often understood the anonymity of Jephthah’s daughter to be symbolic of her powerlessness and status as victim in this story.1n this paper, this correlation will be challenged on the basis of an examination of the function of character anonymity in biblical narrative. Such study indicates that, contrary to what we as readers might expect, the absence of a proper name does not always denote the subordination of the anonymous character to other characters in the narrative, nor does it necessarily reflect a lesser degree of interest in that character on the part of the narrator.

9:30 Gary N. Knoppers (Pennsylvania State U.) “David the Sinner: The Census of Israel in 1 Chronicles 21”

In Chronicles David is popular in all quarters of Israel, victorious in war, successful in cult, adept in politics, and diligent in administration. Given this highly stylized portrait of David, scholars are puzzled by the Chronicler’s incorporation of the census and plague account from 2 Samuel 24 into his own narrative. Some ascribe the appearance of the story in Chronicles to an interest in exegesis (Willi), others (DeVries, Duke) to a concern with validating the future site of the temple. Still others (Japhet) see the story as proof of the Chronicler’s abilities as a forthright historian. Finally, Wright argues that David is innocent, but vicariously accepts divine punishment to save his kingdom. This paper asks whether the issue of David’s unblemished character has been misconstrued. Does David’s acknowledged culpability entail that he cannot serve as a paradigm to the Chronicler’s postexilic audience? I wish to explore how David’s unequivocal admission of guilt, his intercession on behalf of Israel, his mourning, and his renewed obedience contribute positively to his legacy. In other words, the Chronicler’s David may not only be a conquering hero and a patron of the cult, but also the human sinner and intercessor of the Psalms superscriptions.

10:00 Solomon A. Nigosian (U. of Toronto) “Idealizing a Hero: Moses in Post-Exilic Writings”

The figure of Moses is one of the most important propaganda instruments in OT literature dating from the post-exilic period. The abundance of references allows for a multiplicity of portrayals. One of the clues to his elevated status may be identified in the collections of Ezra-Nehemiah-Chronicles. Several passages illustrate how the role of Moses could be appropriated in a particular setting. Questions such as the identity of the writer’s audience, the reason for the idealization of Moses, and the diversification of post-exilic portrayals of Moses will be touched upon.

10:30 BREAK

11:00 Christian Kelm (McGill U.) “Psalm 27 and the Audience’s ‘Horizon of Expectations’”

Literary theorist Hans Robert Jauss has argued that one of the criteria for determining the aesthetic value of a literary work is the way in which it “satisfies, surpasses, disappoints, or disproves the expectations” of its first audience. It is not, however, the work which fulfills the audience’s expectations but that which frustrates or disappoints them that has high aesthetic value. While scholarly consensus continues to support Gunkel’s view that Psalm 27 should be classified as a “mixed type,” this paper intends to raise the possibility that Psalm 27 should not be classified as a mixed type but rather as a new type of psalm which would have broken the audience’s “horizon of expectations.” This raises a further possibility that Psalm 27 should be considered as achieving high aesthetic value.

11 :30 Tony S. L. Michael (U. of Toronto) “Divine Encounters with Humanity without the Benefit of Prayer or Human Mediator in Genesis”

Unlike the more well-known biblical accounts of theophanies, with their accompaniment of supernatural circumstances, there are several examples of divine encounters between Yahweh and humanity in the book of Genesis that are theophanic without any such fanfare. In these examples Yahweh initiates the confrontations and there is no reaction of astonishment or reverence by the humans involved. None of the elements common to prayer such as petition, invocation, and adoration appear in these accounts. There is no mediator hired nor consulted. As they are written they are curiosities. Through traditional source criticism intelligent explanations are discovered which work best if one approaches the text atomistically. However, in order to make sense of these encounters within the complete literary work frame of Genesis a literary methodology is a better approach. Literary criticism demonstrates why such contrasting pericopes are allowed to remain in the text of Genesis and how they actually serve the theological intent of the final redactor.

12:00 Reena Zeidman (Queen’s U.) “‘Listen to Sarah?’ Historical-literary trends in Sarah’s presence in the Binding of Isaac-Jewish, Syriac and Greek sources”

Sarah’s conspicuous absence from the biblical narrative of the Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22) and her subsequent reintroduction in midrashic material of Jewish, Syriac and Greek Christian sources (Aphrahat) on this subject has been treated peripherally, when treated at all, by writers on this subject. The aim of my paper is to contextualize historically shifts of emphasis in each respective tradition. I have recognized that Christian sources grant the episode a powerful Christian message and do so through the interpretive powers of a woman. Jewish sources highlight a strange Oedipal undertone in the Isaac-Sarah relationship in a manner which detracts from growing Koranic influence (in which Ishmael is the more important son) and perhaps also negates the Christian resurrection image.

 

9:00-13:00—A-2835
B. SEMINAR/SÉMINAIRE
RELIGIOUS RIVALRIES AND THE STRUGGLE FOR SUCCESS: JEWS, CHRISTIANS AND OTHER RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN LOCAL SETTINGS IN THE FIRST TWO CENTURIES

9:00-10:30
Presiding/Président: Terence L. Donaldson (College of Emanuel and St Chad)

Leif Vaage (Emmanuel College) Programmatic Essay: “Religious Rivalries and the Struggle for Success: Jews, Christians and Other Religious Groups in Local (Urban) Settings (63BCE-33OCE)

This paper is meant to serve as a programmatic essay for the “Rivalries” seminar—i.e. a start-up sketch of certain promising lines of inquiry, a list of leading questions and possible points of orientation. I do not pretend to represent completely the interests of everyone involved to date in the planning of the seminar, though it is my hope to provide at least the outline of a general theoretical framework within which a variety of more specific investigations and concerns might eventually be coordinated.

Respondents: Margaret Y. MacDonald (U. of Ottawa), Alan Segal (Barnard College), Harold Remus (Wilfrid Laurier U.).

10:30 BREAK

11:00-13:00
Presiding/Président: Leif Vaage (Emmanuel College)

Terry Donaldson (College of Emanuel & St. Chad) Slide Presentation: “A Visit to Caesarea Maritima”

R. Jackson Painter (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) “Religion at Caesarea Maritima to AD 100: A Changing Landscape”

The religious context at Caesarea Maritima was quite complex. In its early period as Strato’s Tower, the population was certainly influenced by Syrian/Phoenician/Canaanite religion as well as peripheral Jewish influence during the Hasmonean period. With the rebuilding of Caeserea by Herod, the pro-Roman nominal Jew, the religious landscape changed a great deal with the influence of Roman religion. In addition a growing Jewish population added a further dimension until the first Jewish war, when the Jewish population was practically eradicated. For the remainder of the first century, Caesarea was firmly pagan with a small contingent of Christians. This paper will seek to elaborate on the changing face of religion at Caesarea up to the end of the first century A.D. The paper will especially attempt to shed light on the ongoing religious conflict between the Jewish and pagan population leading up to the first Jewish war.

Respondent: Steve Mason (York U.)

13:00 Lunch

 

14:00-17:00—A-2830
A. CHRISTIAN ORIGINS/ORIGINES CHRÉTIENNES
Presiding/Président: David J. Hawkin (Memorial U.)

14:00 William E. Arnal (U. of Toronto) “The Rhetorical Use of Gentiles in Q and Group Self-Definition”

Recent attention to Q has forced a revision of several significant assumptions about the origins and historical outlines of earliest Christianity. Conventional conjectures about the development of the “Gentile mission” might also be tempered by consideration of this theme in Q. My paper will contend that Q consistently shows evidence that Gentiles were not deemed to be part of its programme, but that the rhetorical use of Gentiles differs among the three strata in the document, with a discernible drift toward more positive representation. What is interesting is that coincident with this shifting perspective is a trend in Q toward progressively greater nomistic and exegetical concerns. I would argue that the more positive rhetorical use of Gentiles corresponds with a “sociological” shift in the criteria of the Q group’s self-understanding: a shift from ethno-cultural identity as the norm by which the Q people determine their audience, to a more sectarian self-definition in which behavioral nonns dictate inclusion and exclusion.

14:30 Dietmar Neufeld (U. British Columbia) “Magic/Miracle and the Mental State of the Performer”

Although many studies have explored the relationship between “miracle” and “magic” not much as yet has been done on the perceived mental state of the one performing miracles or magic. The synoptic gospels record Jesus of Nazareth as a thaumaturge (healer/miracle worker) who evoked responses both positive and negative from the crowds who followed him and from his family members. The family of Jesus considered him to be out of his mind (ekseste—i.e., one who was beside himself or deranged, Malt 3:21). How wide spread this perception was in the Greco-Roman and Jewish world and what the reasons were for the accusation is the subject of this study.

15:00 Frederik Wisse (McGill U.) “Early Christian Literature and Natural Selection”

A relatively small body of Early Christian literary texts is the only surviving cultural product available to the historian to reconstruct the historical circumstances which gave rise to these writings and to draw an overview of the period. After a brief survey of the different approaches scholars have taken to derive historical data from these texts, the paper focuses on the most popular current approach and argues that it has much in common with the natural selection theory of evolutionary biology. The great advantage of this evolutionary model is that it promises to explain the origin of odd features and incongruities in a text in terms of their utility as dictated by particular historical circumstances. If the parallel with natural selection is apt, the historian of Christian origins has an important lesson to learn from the natural historian about inferring the how, why, and when of the origin of particular features on the basis of their perceived function or utility. The issue will be illustrated with reference to recent “Q” studies.

15:30 BREAK

16:00 Paul W. Gooch (U. of Toronto) “Was the Death of Jesus the Death of a Martyr?”

The answer seems to be yes: martyrs die voluntarily, and innocently, for a cause. Jesus’ death is regarded as primary witness, the initiating example of death as martyrdom for his followers. And yet the answer is not entirely straightforward. Our English word isn’t an exact translation for martus in the NT. More important, though, is the sociology of martyrdom: martyrs dies within religious belief-systems, testifying to the ultimacy of those beliefs. But Jesus did not die as a distinctively Jewish martyr (as did Eleazer, for example, in 2 Maccabees 6). Nor did he die as a Christian martyr (it is Stephen who first fits that description). This paper sets out an ethical and philosophical analysis of martyrdom which inquires, not so much into historical issues around the death of Jesus, as about the appropriateness of applying the term to the way that death is characterized in the gospel accounts.

16:30 Edith M. Humphrey (St. Paul U.) “Texts and Texture, Sight and Sound: Mary Visited and Revisited in Luke 1:5-80”

The emergence of socio-rhetorical criticism, with its self-critical exploration of various “textures” in (around, adjacent to?) the text, has been championed by such scholars as Vernon K. Robbins. Recently, Robbins has used the Magnificat as a test case to analyze rhetorical subtexts and voices of narration in Luke 1, and to discuss the problems of recontextualization and interpretative boundaries. What happens when we widen our focus beyond a notably rhetorical unit (i.e., Luke 1 :46-56) to consider the place of vision-report and divine oracle alongside speech? Is it possible for the methods of literary and “restrained” rhetorical criticism to work in harmony with a socio-rhetorical perspective, so as to display the “interwoven textures” that are apparent here? This paper will consider the interplay of vision, oracle, and formal “speech” within the larger narrative of Luke 1 :5-80.

 

14:00-16:00—A-2835
B. SEMINAR/SÉMINAIRE
EXPLORATORY SESSION FOR PROPOSED NEW SEMINAR
WOMEN AND BIBLICAL SCHOLARSHIP IN CANADA
Presiding/Présidente: Susan Slater Kuzak (Atlantic School of Theology)

Participants will include Carol A. Newsom (Emory U.; Co-Editor of The Women’s Bible Commentary), Jacqueline R. Isaac (U. of Toronto), Adele Reinhartz (McMaster U.), Donna R. Runnalls (McGill U.).

 

19:00-21:00
CSBS ANNUAL DINNER/BANQUET ANNUEL DE LA SCÉB
“Chez Queux”, 158 East St. Paul St., Montreal

 

THURSDAY, 1 JUNE / JEUDI, LE 1 JUIN

 8:30-12:00—A-2830
A.(I) CHRISTIAN ORIGINS/ORIGINES CHRÉTIENNES
Presiding/Président: Jean Duhaime (Université de Montréal)

9:00 Robert A. Derrenbacker, Jr. (Toronto School of Theology) “A Socio-Economic Reading of the Idol-Meat Dilemma in 1 Corinthian 8 and 10”

As a social historian who has avoided reading the Corinthian idol-meat issue as a merely theological dispute, Gerd Theissen has suggested that the problem was one that was fundamentally socio-economic. Building upon what Theissen has proposed, this paper will seek to expand his thesis, namely that the idol-meat quandary was one that was a conflict involving competing socio-economic groups. This paper will focus on the importance of the social backgrounds to Paul’s admonitions concerning idol-meat in Corinth as a means of bolstering Theissen’s proposal, specifically by centring in on both the posture of the Corinthian idol-meat diners and the social implications of dining in the Greco-Roman world.

9:30 Caroline F. Whelan-Donaghey (U. of Toronto) “A Rhetorical Analysis of Philippians 4.2-3: Euodia and Syntyche Reconsidered”

From the whole of the Philippian Church, only two are singled out for specific admonition: Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2). Yet, little or no attempt has been made to understand the precise nature of their role in Philippi or to situate them more firmly in the social structure of the first century. In this paper, we will attempt an historically nuanced reading of 4:2-3 by drawing upon the recent disciplines of epistolary analysis and rhetorical interpretation. Part one highlights four aspects of the rhetorical strategy—the climactic use of phronein, the rhetorical arrangement, the careful emphasis on the corporate dimension of salvation, and the grammatical juxtaposition of the admonition,—to illustrate Paul’s strategy in combating the agonistic character of interpersonal relationships. Part two examines the role of Euodia and Syntyche against the backdrop of first century collegia.

10:00 BREAK 

10:30 Kenneth A. Fox (Toronto School of Theology) “From Paul the Christian-Synagogue Leader to Paul the Sophist?”

The purpose of this paper is to test the hypothesis that Paul shared the same social location as such sophists and philosophers as Aelius Aristides, Dio Chrysostom, Epictetus, the vagabond Cynic preachers, Apollonius of Tyana and Peregrinus. The broader setting of this paper bears upon the nexus between religion and philosophy in the Hellenistic World; and inquires whether St. Paul’s churches would have been seen by outsiders as mystery cults or Diaspora synagogues.

11 :00 Jacinthe Potvin (Université d’Ottawa) “Le système du genre et la pensée paulinienne”

L’Église chrétienne a grandi dans une société ou les hommes et les femmes étaient, selon la règle, considérés non équivalents et par conséquent inégaux, en conséquence de certaines explications biologique, psychologique, médicale et philosophique. Les philosophes juifs et chrétiens ont été influencés par les grecs et ont maintenu l’infériorité de la femme à tous les niveaux. L’Ancien Testament et Ie Nouveau Testament sont interprétés selon ce point de vue, bien qu’en regard au salut, l’homme et la femme sont équivalents. Dans cette communication, j’ examinerai l’influence de l’idéologie du genre (gender system), qui prévalait dans la société méditerranéenne, sur les traditions chrétiennes primitives, notamment Ie texte de Ga 3, 28 et le concept de mâle et femelle dans la pensée paulinienne.

 

8:30-12:00—A-2835
B. TRAJECTORIES OF BIBLICAL TRADITION / TRAJECTOIRES BIBLIQUES
Presiding/Présidente: Edith M. Humphrey (St. Paul U.)

8:30 John Sandys-Wunsch (Mill Bay, B.C.) “The Sceptical Roots of the Historical-Critical Method”

The picture of the emergence of biblical criticism tends to be of orthodox obscurantists being pushed and bullied by critics more aware of the historical nature of books of the Bible but who in their own way did not deny the value or even the inspiration of Scripture. Talk by both groups of challenges by atheists or “indifferentists” has been played down as a menace whose influence and existence were simply functions of rhetorical scare tactics. This paper examines the possibility that the radical sceptics who lived before Diderot, d’Holbach, and Voltaire did have an effect on the development of biblical studies.

9:00 David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College) and Gary A. Phillips (College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA) “The Postmodern Bible and The Bible and Culture Collective”

The recently published The Postmodern Bible (Yale University Press, 1995) presents a survey, critique and prospect, with exegetical examples, of the use in biblical studies of the following methods: reader-response, structuralist, post-structuralist, rhetorical, psychoanalytic, feminist/womanist, and ideological. Believing only such an approach to be consistent with the postmodern perspective, the ten authors (The Bible and Culture Collective) adopted a radically collaborative approach in writing the book, and did not sign any parts of it individually. Here, two members of the collective discuss some of the methodological issues in postmodern biblical interpretation, and discuss the theory and practice of collaborative authorship.

9:30 J. Richard Middleton (St. Catherines, Ontario) “Election and Enplotment in the Biblical Narrative”

This paper engages in narrative analysis of the canonical relationship between the creation of humans as the image of God at the beginning of the biblical story and the election or calling of specific historical agents at I various junctures within the biblical text. First of all, a number of remarkable formal similarities will be noted between a variety of election texts and call narratives (including those of Abraham, Moses, Israel, Gideon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the servant of Yahweh) and the creation and commissioning of humanity to be the image of God. But, secondly, narrative analysis suggests that election is to be distinguished from creation in the image of God precisely by its placement after the introduction of human sin, which functions as the major plot complication or tension in the biblical story; Whereas humanity is created to exercise power on God’s behalf for the benefit of the non-human creation, this initial narrative pu1pose is soon blocked by human disobedience, arrogance and violence (Gen 3-11). The paper argues that to be “elect” in the Bible is equivalent to exercising human power as an agent of plot resolution. This narrative analysis of election will be seen to illumine a number of biblical election texts, including two such texts in the New Testament, namely 1 Peter 2 and Revelation 5, both of which adapt, in significantly different ways, the classic election texts of 1srael (Exodus 19) to the church.

10:00 BREAK

10:30 Steven C. Muir (U. of Ottawa) “Touched by a God: Aelius Aristides, Religious Healing, and Questions for New Testament Scholarship”

Aelius Aristides was a second-century devotee of the Hellenistic healing deity Asclepius. His relationship to the god was mystical, devotional, and practical. For Aristides, his god was not only a healer, but a patron and personal advisor in all aspects of life. Many scholars characterize Aristides as an excessive or unique figure, in terms of his religiosity as well as his concern over his health. I argue that the religious and social dimensions of healing detectable in Aristides’ writings are not unusual but are part of a common world view. The case of Aristides provides intriguing new questions to texts and phenomena in early Christianity.

11:00 Richard S. Ascough (Toronto School of Theology) “Local and Extra-local Relationships and Religious Groupings in Antiquity”

In the past a number of scholars have considered the voluntary associations of Greco-Roman antiquity as an analogy for understanding the organization of the early Christian groupings in urban centres. However, some of these same scholars have indicated the differences between the voluntary associations and the Christian communities. One difference that is highlighted is the extra-local links of Christianity verses the “self-contained local phenomenon” of voluntary associations (Meeks 1983:80; cf. Countryman 1977: 136; Barton and Horsley 1981 :28). This paper will investigate the literary and inscriptional evidence from the voluntary associations to explore whether this difference is as significant as is often presented. Preliminary investigation seems to indicate that the extra-local links between voluntary associations are much stronger than often assumed.

11:30 Cecilia Wassen (McMaster U.) “Shedding Light on Women in the Damascus Document: the 4QD Fragments”

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Damascus Document was known through medieval copies from the Cairo genizah. Now much new material must be added from the Cave 4 fragments, significantly increasing the length of the document. The additions contain new data about women, e.g., purity rules regarding the niddah, the zabah, and the parturient; a description of the desired qualities of a bride-to-be; a reference to “the mothers ”; a rule prohibiting a man from fornicating with his wife. My paper will present and analyze these references in light of both the Damascus Document and our general knowledge about women in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 

12:00 Lunch

 

12:30-13:30—A-2830
CCSR BUSINESS MEETING

 

13:30-14:30—N-1S510
CSBS STUDENT PRIZE ESSAYS /
GAGNANTS DU CONCOURS DE LA SCÉB OUVERT AUX ÉTUDIANTS
Presiding/Président: Jack Lightstone (Concordia U.)

13:30 The 1994 Joachim Jeremias Prize: Alicia Batten (Emmanuel College) “Dishonourable Passions: Paul’s View of Homoeroticism in Context”

Paul refers to homoerotic behaviour only “in passing” within his correspondence yet his remarks have been used to justify the discrimination and oppression of homosexuals over the ages. In re-examining Paul’s remarks (Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9) within both their literary and cultural contexts, this paper will argue that Paul does indeed condemn all forms of homoerotic behaviour (and not just pederasty, as some have thought). However, Paul is not saying anything contrary to his “pagan” environment which by the first century tended to be quite critical of homoerotic activity, especially among women. It is thus important to note that Paul, unlike some of his contemporaries, does not place a great deal of emphasis on this issue.

14:00 The 1994 Founders’ Prize: Tyler Williams (Wycliffe College) “The Elohist Psalter and the shape and shaping of the Book of Psalms”

 

14:30-15:45—N-1S510
CSBS ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING /
SÉANCE D’AFFAIRES ANNUELLE DE LA SCÉB

 

16:00-17:00—N-1S510
CSBS PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS /
DISCOURS PRÉSIDENTIEL DE LA SCÉB
Presiding/Président: Jack Lightstone (Concordia U.)
Eileen Schuller (McMaster U.)
“Going on Fifty: Reflections on the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls”

 

17:00-19:00—D-COUR
PRESIDENT’S RECEPTION

 

20:00-22:30—J-M415
CRAIGIE LECTURE
Carol A. Newsom (Emory U.)
“The Book of Job and the Remaking of the Moral Imagination”

Reception Following [J-M415F]

 

FRIDAY 2 JUNE / VENDREDI, LE 2 JUIN

 7:30
WOMEN SCHOLARS BREAKFAST
The Second Cup, 1551 St. Denis.

 

9:00-13:00—A-2835
A (1). CHRISTIAN ORIGINS/ORIGINES CHRÉTIENNES
Presiding/Président: Michel Desjardins (Wilfrid Laurier U.)

 9:00 William E. Arnal (U. of Toronto), Willi Braun (Bishop’s U.), Michel Desjardins (Wilfrid Laurier U.), “Early Christianity as a Roman Religion: A Proposal for an Introductory Textbook”

This joint presentation is a preliminary step in the attempt to imagine and plan for a new kind of textbook to assist the teaching of introductory courses in early (Roman period) Christianity in university departments of religion. The presenters will provide a rationale for this project and offer a prospectus of its aims, methodological orientation, and scope of its contents.

10:00 BREAK

10:30 Nicola Denzey (Princeton U.), “...We Were Enslaved to the Elemental Spirits of the Universe: The Stoicheia as Ministers of Cosmic Fatalism in Gnostic Interpretations of Galatians and Colossians”

In Galatians 4: 3ff., Paul speaks of the pre-baptismal state as a form of spiritual enslavement. The Galatians choose to worship the “elemental spirits”—the stoicheia, a word commonly employed in pagan philosophical terminology. Scholars have debated Paul’s own understanding of the word. Careful exegesis of various Gnostic sources reveals that certain Christian interpreters of the second century took “the elemental spirits of the universe” to refer to the planets or fixed stars and their malevolent influences over humankind through the mechanism of heimarmene or destiny. This paper will explore the possibility that Gnostic Christians did not invent the correlation between the stoicheia, destiny and the release from destiny through baptism but drew from Paul’s own language in Galatians, as well as the language in Colossians.

11:00 Ritva H. Williams (U. of Ottawa), “Hospitality and Power: A Social Scientific Analysis of the Elder’s Letters”

This social scientific analysis of 2 and 3 John takes its inspiration from articles written by Abraham Malherbe and Bruce Malina, simultaneously synthesizing and going beyond their work. My hypothesis is that the social practice of hospitality (the writer’s “emic” concern) involves an exercise of power (my etic translation). This paper will examine the various power relations which are reflected in these letters, e.g.. between The Elder and Gaius, The Elder and Diotrephes, The Elder and “the chosen lady.” As well, the possible bases of The Elder’s claims to authority will be explored. It is my expectation that this analysis will shed some light on the internal organization of the Johannine movement at the time when The Elder’s letters were written.

 

A (2). SEMINAR / SÉMINAIRE
RELIGIOUS RIVALRIES
11:30-13:00—A-2830
Presiding/Président: Steven G. Wilson (Carleton U.)

Elaine Myers (U. of Toronto) “Recent Excavation at Caesarea Maritima: An Annotated Bibliography”

Hudson McLean (St. John’s College) “The Inscriptional Evidence from Caesarea Maritima”

Since most of the inscriptions from Caesarea Maritima have come to light after the publication of J. B. Frey’s Corpus Inscriptionum Judaicarum, the first purpose of this paper is to collect and document a corpus of all published inscriptions from Caesarea Maritima. This corpus of inscriptions will then be analyzed as a whole with respect to language, provenance, date, and classification. Finally, the paper will conclude by discussing select inscriptions of particular interest.

Respondent: Richard Ascough (Wycliffe College)

Discussion of Future Plans for the Seminar

 

B. HEBREW BIBLE / BIBLE HÉBRAIQUE
9:00-11:30—A-2830
Presiding/Président: David Jobling (St. Andrew’s College)

9:00 Joyce Rilett Wood (North York, Ontario) “First-Person Speech in Jeremiah”

Ancient and modern critics alike are inclined to inte1pret the prophet’s first-person statements as literal autobiography. But the “I” could be personal or impersonal, private or public, anonymous or official. It varies according to genre and occurs differently in original and edited texts. I will identify the different categories of first-person speech in the original and edited text of Jeremiah with some reference to his adaptation of the prophetic tradition and in light of Near Eastern and Greek models.

9:30 Ehud Ben Zvi (U. of Alberta) “Making Sense of Micah 1:2-16: Some Observations”

The first chapter of Micah has attracted much discussion and debate. There is vast disagreement among scholars concerning (a) the text of Mic 1:2-16, esp. w. 10-15, (b) its redactional history, and (c) the historical circumstances referred to, or reflected by a proposed first layer (/s) of the text. Despite substantial disagreements concerning its precise contents, this layer is usually associated with the historical figure of the eighth century prophet Micah and his message. Such an association, of course, defines the set of potential historical circumstances that may be taken into account as possible (historical) backgrounds for the message of Mic 1 :2-16, or its (reconstructed) earlier version. It is obvious that the three central issues mentioned above are interrelated, because either one’s understanding of the redactional history of the text heavily influences one’s analysis of the possible historical referents or vice versa, or the two cross-influence each other. In addition, various forms of interdependence characterize the relation between one’s textual emendations and reconstructions, and one’s position concerning historical referents and redactional history. A full discussion of Micah 1 is certainly beyond the limits of an oral lecture. Only a full monograph can do justice to the complexities of the chapter. Despite this situation, it is the contention of this paper that a relatively few number of textual and stylistic observations may substantially contribute to an understanding of the way in which the message of Mic 1:2-16 is shaped in service of, and as a reflection of central theological/ideological tenets. In addition, it will be claimed that these observations may significantly contribute to the ongoing discussion concerning the date, circumstances, and nature of the compositional level of Mic 1:2-16. Hence, this paper represents a contribution to what seems to be an evasive goal, i.e., to make sense of Mic 1:2-16 in its historical context.

10:00 BREAK

10:30 Fiona Black and Erin Runions (McGill U.) “The Imagery of Redemption? An Intertextual Reading of Isaiah 40”

In this paper we will attempt several intertextual readings of Isaiah 40 to see how external texts may influence the interpretation of this passage. In the past, many scholars have followed G. von Rad in reading the exodus and creation imagery in this text in a way that seeks out the theme of redemption. Scholars have noted that this method of reading is in part a conflation of the two predominant images in Isaiah 40, exodus and creation. We have thought that as a way of exploring von Rad’s reading, it might be interesting to see what happens when Isaiah 40 is deliberately read alongside of texts from Genesis and Exodus. The work of Julia Kristeva and Roland Barthes has suggested to us that when texts are read together they take on entirely new shapes. We would like then to compare three different shapes that this passage can take when read with the Genesis creation texts, with the Exodus account, and with both Genesis and Exodus texts together. Finally, we would like to see if any of these readings in fact suggests the theme of redemption.

11:00 Wesley I. Toews (U. of Manitoba) “Political Protest as Impetus for Hosea’s Aniconism”

In spite of the aniconic prohibition (deriving from Israel’s earliest period according to scholarly consensus), the Hebrew Bible gives clear evidence for the cultic use of images and emblems during the monarchic period (e.g. the cherubim and ark, the golden calves). My thesis is that aniconism in Israel received special impetus in the context of political protest by various prophets. Their rejection of certain images or emblems signified their rejection of related political options. I interpret Hosea’s censure of habbe‘allîm and images essentially as a rejection of political alignments and affirmations for which they stood in his perception. In their place Hosea set forward verbal images that, given his political perspectives, would represent Yahweh more adequately.

 

14:00-17:00—N-RO50
CSBS EXECUTIVE MEETING /
RÉUNION DU COMITÉ EXECUTIF DE LA SCÉB

 

16:00—N-1S510
CTS PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS /
DISCOURS PRESIDENTIEL DE LA SCT

 

OTHER MEETINGS OF INTEREST:


June 2-3: 4th Annual Sociology of Early Christianity Workshop
Contact: Gregory Bloomquist, Saint Paul University,
223 Main St, Ottawa, Ont KIS lC4

June 3: CSPS/L’ACÉP Seminar: “The Representation of Violence and the Violence of Representation”
Contact: Theodore de Bruyn, 408 Riverdale Avenue, Ottawa, Ont KIS IS2

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Last Update: December 20, 2004