Preliminary Programme/Programme tentative
Wednesday, May 23 / Mercredi, 23 Mai
14:00-19:00 (DKN 1451)
Executive Committee Meeting
Réunion du Comité Exécutif de la SCÉB
Thursday, May 24 / Jeudi, 24 Mai
8:45–12:00 (VAC 3820)
Religious Rivalries / Rivalités religieuses
Presiding/Présidence: Terence L. Donaldson (Wycliffe)
8:45 Jack Lightstone (Concordia University) "Urbanization in late
second- and early third-century Roman Palestine as Reflected in Earliest Rabbinic
Previously, the author discussed the effects of "Roman-style" urbanization in the East upon Judaism's and Christianity's respective struggles for success, on the one hand, and upon the formation of the rabbinic guild and Jewish Patriarchy, on the other. It is suggested that the Patriarchy, with the members of the rabbinic guild serving as its "functionaries," arose in part to occupy a typical stratum and functions at the lower echelon of imperial provincial governance, just above those of the autonomous "roman city," ruled largely by its own decurial class. This paper continues exploring the evidence for Roman urbanization in Palestine and its impact upon rabbinism by examining rabbinic (particularly Toseftan) evidence concerning the "city" in the late second and early third centuries.
9:30 Philip Harland (Toronto) "Rivalries Among Associations in
Sardis and Smyrna"
This paper will investigate archeological and epigraphical evidence for rivalries among small, unofficial ("pagan") associations. Competition (economic, social, religious and otherwise) was inherent within the social system of cities in western Asia Minor and associations were part of this context. Associations and guilds in Sardis and Smyrna could be rivals for economic support from benefactors and for the honour and prestige that such contacts entailed. Groups were also in competition for potential adherents and for the allegiances of members, as the evidence for multiple affiliations suggests. Finally, the paper considers more specific instances of religious rivalries through an analysis of inscriptions, giving special attention to a somewhat "exclusive" group of Zeus-worshippers at Sardis. Some associations were more consciously competitive than others, we shall see.
10:30 Alicia Batten (Pacific Lutheran) "The Moral Language of Voluntary
Despite ancient Greek religions' general lack of interest in moral questions, inscriptions from voluntary associations use what might be considered to be "moral" language, including consistent praise for "pious," "just" and "excellent" people. This paper will explore what this type of language might mean in the context of these associations, as well as some of the rules that the associations outline for their members' behaviour. Finally, the paper will suggest a few ways in which such a study is useful for New Testament studies.
11:15 Stephen Muir (Mount Allison University) "Mending Yet Fracturing:
Healing as an Arena of Conflict Between Religious Communities"
On the surface, healing would appear to be primarily an altruistic activity, undertaken for the good of the suffering person. Yet numerous instances of conflict and competition in first to fifth-century religious healing suggest another view. Healing serves group needs. In polemic and practice we see that groups used healing to attract and maintain members, denounce rivals, and set social boundaries.
8:45-12:00 (VAC 3830)
Hebrew Bible Literary/Lire les textes bibliques
Presiding/Présidence: John McLaughlin (Wheeling Jesuit)
8:45 David A. Bergen (Calgary) "Disambiguating Deuteronomy 31:
Dialogic Currents Within a Single Narrative Stream"
The temporal deformations of Deut. 31 are severe enough for most scholars to relegate the chapter to the miscellany appended to the central lawcode/treaty. Recently, E. Talstra and Jean Pierre Sonnet have offered synchronic alternatives based on their narratological assessments of the passage. Brian Britt however asserts that ch. 31 consists of two distinct narrative strands. This paper stakes a middle-ground between Britt and Talstra/Sonnet, arguing that ch. 31 resumes the narrator's primary story while reflecting the perturbations of an ongoing contest between the deity and Israel's first prophet.
9:15 J. Richard Middleton (Colgate Rochester Divinity) "From the
Clenched Fist to the Open Hand: A Postmodern Reading of the Twenty-Third Psalm"
This reading of Psalm 23 attempts to work through my long-held suspicion of the text’s naïve idealism. I begin by exposing the psalm to the negative underside of human experience in a world that does not unambiguously experience YHWH’s guidance. I then propose an intertextual reading of the psalm. First I examine the traditioning process by which the psalmist drew on and transformed prior biblical texts. Then I suggest other intertexts, both biblical and contemporary, which are obviously unintended by the psalmist, to see what resonances of meaning are set up between the psalm and our contemporary experience. These "postmodern" heremeutical strategies are meant to explore a movement through legitimate suspicion to a second naiveté, where a biblical text may speak a word of chastened hope to the interpreter.
9:45 Keith Bodner (Tyndale) "Disobedience and Execution in the
Within the narrative material of Samuel-Kings, David has a complex relationship with his commanding officer, Joab. A key event occurs in 2 Samuel 11, with the liquidation of Uriah the Hittite. In this instance Joab clearly contravenes the king's orders, yet David palpably benefits from his general's "disobedience" to the royal command. A similar pattern of disobedience and execution is seen earlier in the narrative, and recurs at later points in the story. This paper will explore tensions between Joab and the king, and make several observations on the characterization of David's enigmatic general.
10:30 Francis Landy (Alberta) "The Divine Trap in Amos 3:3-8"
What exactly happens in Amos 3.3-8? Who walks together and why? How do the rhetorical questions fit into each other, and displace each other? What is the relation of the sequence to the supposed insertion on prophetic leaks in 3.7? Who is trapped, Israel or God, or both? The paper will focus on the rhetorical moves in the passage, in relation to the preceding affirmation of God's exclusive knowledge of Israel in the wake of the Exodus, and the succeeding summons to rival political entities to witness the malfeasance of Samaria. The paper will conclude by examining the relationship of the passage to the rest of the book of Amos.
11:00 Mary Louise Mitchell (McGill) "The Limits of Language in
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the uses of poetic language and the limits of that language in the book of Lamentations. The image of the cannibal mother will be discussed as existing on the margins of what could be expressed in the language and culture of ancient Israel. This image, first introduced in Lamentations 2:20, recurs in 4:10: "The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children." My paper will discuss this image in its context in Lamentations and, through a brief inter-textual study, in the wider context of the culture of ancient Israel.
11:30 Joyce Rilett Wood (Toronto) "The Patterns of Speech in Jeremiah"
The poetry of Jeremiah combines solo and choral speech, directive speech and dialogue. Speeches of characters are made to imitate natural speech rhythms and are replete with interruptions and broken utterances, repetitions and rhetorical questions, sudden transitions and pregnant pauses. This paper is a study of the patterns of communication in Jeremiah's poetry. It gives examples of disjointed discourse and shows how continuity is established between one speech and another.
13:00-14:30 (VAC 3830)
Special Student Session/Session pour étudiants
Presiding/Présidence: David Bergen (Calgary)
"Expectations and Demands: Surviving as a Biblical Scholar in the 21st Century"
Panel discussion: Ehud Ben Zvi (Alberta); Margaret Dufour MacDonald (St. Francis Xavier), David Jobling (St. Andrew’s), Wayne McCready (Calgary), Eileen Schuller (McMaster), Alan Segal (Barnard College)
14:45-15:15 (VAC 3830)
Student Prize Essay / Prix d’étudiant
Presiding/Présidence: Ehud Ben Zvi (Alberta)
Keir Hammer (Toronto: Centre for the Study of Religion)
"Silenced by Fear: Understanding 16:8 in the Context of Mark’s Gospel"
15:30-16:45 (VAC 3830)
CSBS Annual General Meeting/ Assemblée annuelle de la SCÉB
17:00-18:00 (VAC 3830)
Presidential Address/Conférence du Président
Presiding/Présidence: Ehud Ben Zvi (Alberta)
John Kloppenborg Verbin (St Michael’s)
"Inertia in Interpretation or the Nose of Wax"
CSBS Annual Dinner/Banquet annuel de la SCÉB
Restaurant Café Buade
(Oldest Restaurant in Vieux-Québec)
Friday, May 25 / Vendredi, 25 Mai
Women Scholars’ Breakfast / Petit déjeuner des femmes
9:00-12:00 (VAC 3820)
New Testament/Nouveau Testament
Composing and Reading the Gospels/Formation et étude des évangiles
Presiding/Présidence: Frederik Wisse (McGill)
9:00 Robert A. Derrenbacker (Tyndale) "Greco-Roman
Compositional Conventions and Matthew’s Use of Q"
It has long been recognized that Luke’s method of adapting Mark and Q on the Two-Document Hypothesis (2DH) is a relatively simple and straightforward technique of taking his sources in large blocks at a time, essentially preserving the order of the material as he finds it. Matthew’s Gospel, on the other hand, presents a different set of problems for source critics and advocates of the 2DH. In Matthew’s case, there is a significant reworking of the order of the material in his sources, particularly when it comes to Q. This paper will analyze Matthew’s use of Q in light of the compositional conventions of writers in the Greco-Roman world. This study will include the techniques for adapting material from written sources and the role that ancient media (e.g., codices vs. scrolls) may have played in the production of Matthew.
9:30 Daniel A. Smith (Wycliffe) "Mark’s ‘Empty Tomb’ Story and
the Post-Mortem Vindication of Jesus in Q"
On the basis of both linguistic and theological evidence, it appears that Q, in its final form at least, understood Jesus as a rejected and murdered emissary of Wisdom, vindicated by God by means of assumption (not resurrection). The use of the assumption motif in Q is consistent with its use in antiquity, but particularly in Jewish sources: translation from this world to the other is inevitably connected with exaltation and/ or special eschatological function. The possibility that Mark’s "Empty Tomb" story (Mark 16:1-8) is (or was, at some stage in the tradition) an assumption or removal story allows for some interesting comparisons between Q and Mark with respect to an absent but vindicated Jesus.
10:30 Wendy Cotter (Loyola) "The Widow and the Judge (Luke 18:1-18)
Lukan Sondergut and the Historical Jesus (?)"
Traditionally, the Lukan parable of the Widow and the Judge has been regarded in the pious light created for it by a combination of the evangelist's and the Christian translators' pious control. Once these controls are recognized and lifted, a lively and bold scenario leaps to the fore, and with its fresh and mocking humour, challenges the listener to a new approach, a new attitude about behaviour with the dominant powers that organize society. This paper identifies those controls on the story that have "domesticated" this feisty and witty parable, it examines the scenario that is presented at the pre-Lukan level, and its implications for a first century non-elite audience. In a concluding movement it discusses its candidacy for inclusion among the historical Jesus' teachings."
11:00 Alexander Damm (Toronto) "The Synoptic Problem, the Acts
of the Apostles and Ancient Rhetoric"
In studies of the Synoptic Problem, there has been little attention either to the gospel of Luke’s companion volume, the Acts of the Apostles, or to ancient rhetoric, as means for discerning the synoptic gospels’ order. This paper will address these considerations in exploring the Synoptic problem, specifically whether Markan priority or Matthean priority is more plausible. First, we will enumerate a selection from the (thirty-one) words shared by Mark and Acts (but not Matthew or Luke), asking whether it is more plausible that Mark added each word to Luke (recalling the words from Acts) or that Luke omitted each word from Mark (later adding them to Acts). Second, we will supplement this question by asking, in light of ancient conventions of style (elocutio), whether Mark improved on Luke by adding each word, or whether Luke improved on Mark by omitting each word.
11:30 Philippa Carter (McMaster University) "Being, Doing and Being
Done to: A Winnicottian Reading of Matthew 15:21-28"
During the past decades biblical scholars have invested more and more heavily in literary approaches to the Hebrew Bible, Christian scriptures and related texts. Many scholars of literature, interested in using psychoanalytic models in literary criticism, have exploited the work of Jacques Lacan and pursued a post-structuralist trajectory that fits well with other postmodernist approaches. For those who have resisted this path but remain interested in "applied psychoanalysis" the work of D.W. Winnicott seems promising. As a contribution to the investigation of such an approach for biblical interpretation this paper offers a Winnicottian reading of Jesus' encounter with the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28.
9:00-12:00 (VAC 3830)
Feminisms, Culture and the Bible/Feminismes, culture et la Bible
Bible, Gender and Film/ La Bible, sexualité et film
Presiding/Présidence: Nicola Denzey (Skidmore College)
Panel Discussion: Fiona Black (Alberta), Adrienne Gibb (McGill), Susan Lochrie Graham (Exeter), Bennett Matthews (Alberta), Andrew Wilson (Sheffield), Erin Runions (Barnard College)
This session will be devoted to a discussion of the film Magnolia, and audience participation will be encouraged. We invite people to view the film in advance and come prepared to talk.
13:30-17:00 (VAC 3820)
New Testament/Nouveau Testament
Reading the Epistles/Lire les épîtres
Presiding/Présidence: Stephen Wilson (Carleton)
13:30 Alain Gignac (Université de Montréal) "Romans
3:1-10 and the Story of David and Bathsheba (Ps 50:6 LXX): Intertextuality as
a Clue for the Understanding of Argumentation"
Rom 3 is crucial for the structure of the whole letter, like a railway station (Dunn) announcing the themes that will appear in chapters 6-7 and 9-11 (Campbell). It is also a difficult text which I propose to illuminate in three ways. Firstly, following Stowers, Penna and Byrne, I read it as a fictitious dialogue between a disciple and Paul. Secondly, the quotation of Ps 50: 6 (LXX) placed at the center of the dialogue functions as a turning point and as the key of the argumentation. Thirdly, this text develops the metaphor of judgment in multiple directions: it is not only a judgment of humanity, but also one of God’s justice and of Paul’s apostolate. This analysis will provide a solution for the translation problem of verse 9 and will shed new light on the theme of justification in Romans.
14:00 Kenneth Fox (Toronto School of Theology) "From the ‘Sin Ruled
Body’ to the ‘Redemption of the Body’ in Romans 6-8: A comparison of Paul with
"The trouble with Paul has always been to put him in his place," said E. A. Judge. To be sure, Paul's anthropology has historically been understood against a Jewish or a Hellenistic background. But a recent shift in Pauline studies has called into question this stark choice, and it is this shift that invites a renewed examination of Paul's discourse on the body in Romans 6-8. In this paper I show in what ways Paul's thoroughgoing anthropological dualism, devaluation of the body, and place for the body in the life of the baptized (comparable to Philo's 'practisers'), are similar to, yet different from Philo's.
14:45 William Richards (Emmanuel and St. Chad) "What Kind of Letter
is 1 Corinthians?"
A modern reader scanning through 1 Corinthians encounters a number of curious transition points. Since the 19th century such transitions have suggested to some that the present text is a composite of several letters. Though the issue of the text’s integrity has been examined using a variety of approaches, some of these "seams" might be explicable as the conventions customary in a Greco-Roman letter. This paper will, therefore, examine the epistolary forms of 1 Corinthians relevant to deciding whether it is a single letter, and to establishing what kind of letter that might be. The text’s epistolary conventions suggest reading its first four chapters as the cover-letter to a collection of Paul’s memoranda on particular topics.
15:15 Zeba Crook (St. Michael’s) "‘By the charis given to
me’: Paul’s Reference to a Divine Benefaction"
"By the grace given to me" is a thrice repeated Pauline phrase (1 Cor 3:10; 15:10; Rom 12:3) which, while on the surface seems self-explanatory, appears to confuse commentators. What exactly is Paul referring to when he uses this phrase? Some commentaries suggest Paul is referring to his vision of Christ, others that it is authority; many, however, simply by-pass the question with vague reflections on the theological concept (slippery at best) of grace. By looking at how the term "charis" functions in a framework of patronage and clientage, we can begin to discern what precisely Paul claims was the grace he received.
16:00 Nancy Calvert-Koyzis (Tyndale) "Foucault Goes to Galatia:
Paul, Power and the Redefinition of the People of God"
In Second Temple Jewish Literature such as Jubilees and the Apocalypse of Abraham, Abraham is used as a cipher through which the reader may understand what it meant to be a person of God. This portrayal always included significant adaptations of the biblical text in order to speak to the reader in specific situations, usually characterised by conflict between segments of Judaism or between Jews and non-Jews. It is significant that in Galatians Paul also adapts the biblical text, using Abraham as a cipher through which his readers may come to know what it means to be a person of God "in Christ." While his new definition of God’s people is often said to be universalistic in breadth because it includes the Gentiles, it is not the whole story. In my paper I intend to make use of the insight propounded by Michel Foucault that power and knowledge are inextricably connected. In this case, Paul’s redefinition of who constitutes the people of God, or the new "knowledge," functions powerfully to exclude certain persons -- those who maintain that obedience to the Mosaic law is a necessary prerequisite for entrance to the community of God’s people. As such, Paul’s redefinition of the people of God in which he uses the figure of Abraham serves as a vehicle of power which functions to exclude his opponents in Galatia.
16:30 Bob Webb (Tyndale) "The Rhetoric of 2 Peter: Resurrecting
a Neglected Early Christian Epistle"
2 Peter has frequently been characterized as bearing the marks of "early catholicism"--a view that has resulted in the epistle being evaluated as having little import, especially when compared with what "our beloved brother Paul wrote according to the wisdom given to him." The focus of this paper is an examination of the rhetorical argument of 2 Peter. The style and structure of this rhetorical argument can lead to a number of implications. One such implication is that the characterization of 2 Peter as "early catholic" is incorrect, and that 2 Peter should be resurrected as a vibrant, and distinct, expression of "early Christianity."
13:30-16:15 (DKN 2B)
Trajectories of Biblical Tradition/ Trajectoires des traditions bibliques
Presiding/Présidence: Eileen Schuller (McMaster)
13:30 Bill Morrow (Queen’s) "Characteristics of Prayers of the
Righteous Sufferer in the Apocrypha"
The destruction of the First Temple brought about shifts in the petitionary genre which is known variously as the "complaint psalm," "protest prayer," or the "arguing with God" tradition. Already in Lamentations, Westermann noted the lack of "the accusation against God" and the profusion of "we-lament" material. These changes adumbrate permanent alterations in the genre. The paper will offer a description of the genre in the Apocrypha. It will also offer some explanations for shifts from biblical typologies.
14:00 Jean Duhaime (Université de Montréal) "À
toi la guerre! Etude intertextuelle de 1 QM xi 1-14"
Le Rouleau de la guerre de la grotte 1 de Qumrân (1QM) comporte quelques citations explicites de la Bible, mais aussi de nombreuses citations implicites, des références et allusions. Ce phénomène d'intertextualité n'a pas été beaucoup exploré jusqu'ici. Dans cet exposé, une méthode d'analyse intertextuelle sera employée pour étudier une section d'une prière qui tire les leçons du passé, en particulier de la délivrance d'Égypte et du combat entre David et Goliath, pour anticiper la victoire de Dieu lui-même sur ses ennemis.
14:45 Ian Scott (McMaster University) "Is Philo’s Moses a Divine
Philo’s Moses is often presented as a paradigm of the kind of divinized Jewish hero which paved the way for the early divinization of Jesus. Carl Holladay has challenged this reading of Philo, but has only treated those isolated passages which talk explicitly about divinity or divinization, thus missing the cumulative force of Philo’s portrait of Moses. In pursuit of a more holistic understanding of Philo’s Moses, this essay will note the striking parallels which emerge from a comparison of his On Moses with a broad range of Greek depictions of divine men. We will then ask whether these similarities are enough to justify the claim that Philo's treatment of Moses is comparable to the early deification of Jesus.
15:15 Diane Wudel (North Carolina) "Suasion and Suicide: Josephus,
Masada and the Ambiguities of Ancient Rhetoric"
In Josephus' telling of the climactic events at Masada, he portrays Eleazar son of Yair as an orator, delivering not one but two consecutive speeches urging his followers to embrace voluntary death. The first speech fails; the second, however, succeeds even before it concludes, as its hearers, "overpowered by some uncontrollable impulse," hasten to act on their "passion" to slaughter their wives, their children, and themselves. I argue that in the construction of these two speeches and the narrative depiction of this speaker and his audience, Josephus is trading on views of persuasion current in his time--views articulated by figures such as Demetrius, Cicero, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Longinus. Eleazar's two speeches, for instance, are stylistically differentiated in ways that critics of the Imperial Age sought to describe. Differences in style are linked, then, to stark questions of what kind of power a speaker may exert over hearers. And finally, ancient critical questions of how one judges speeches, speakers, and audiences bear directly on the question of how Josephus' reader is to respond to the ambiguities of the Sicarii rhetoric of suicide.
15:45 John F. Horman (Waterloo) "Is the Gospel of Thomas a Gnostic
While many have asserted that the Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic work, it contains remarkably few of the features traditionally associated with those systems which are commonly deemed to be Gnostic.
13:30-15:45 (VAC 3830)
Hebrew Bible/Bible Hébraïque
Social Reality and Sitz im Leben/ Réalité sociale et Sitz im Leben
Presiding/Présidence: Joyce Rilett Wood (Toronto)
13:30 Frank Clancy (Waterloo) "Baasha son of Ahijah over the House
of Bilan of Issachar"
1 Kings 15:27 introduces Baasha as "the son of Ahijah of the House of Issachar", but Greek texts read "over the House of Belaan belonging to Issachar". The Greek retains a clue to the origins of Baasha and the location of Issachar. Belaan should be associated with Bela or Bilhan, in the genealogies of Benjamin; Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine; and Arbela, a site besieged by Bacchides when he attacked the Maccabees. The name belongs to a site near Shiloh. Such a location supports my claims that Issachar was located south of Shechem as late as the 4th century B.C.
14:00 Daniel Miller (Michigan) "Israelite ‘Ethnicity’: An Assessment
of the Archaeological Evidence"
In the ongoing debate regarding the Israelite Settlement, the "Israelite" component has, of late, been subject to as much scrutiny as the nature of the "Settlement" itself. Some scholars have deemed the "collar-rim jar," the pillared "four-room house," and the bench-tomb burial peculiarly "Israelite." This paper will argue, however, that claims of identifying Israelite ethnicity in the archaeological record have been much exaggerated; there is in truth nothing inherently "Israelite" about the aforementioned archaeological elements. Indeed, "ethnicity" is ultimately a subjective term, hence the attempt to prescribe ethnic identity by archaeology is likely doomed to failure.
14:45 Il-Sung Andrew Yun (John Hopkins) "Taharqa and the Foreign
Policy of Egpyt in Palestine"
The presence of Taharqa in the Biblical account of the anti-Assyrian campaign of Egypt in 701 B.C.E. (2 Kg. 19:9a; Isa. 37:9a) and its obvious contradiction to the actual date of Taharqa's accession to the throne in 690 B.C.E. have caused a havoc within the synchronisms among the Akkadian, Biblical and Egyptian sources. Two popular resolutions, i.e. the theory of coregency between Shabako and Shebitku and the two campaign theory, are ad hoc reconstructions, solely intended to salvage the historicity of the Biblical account. A careful cross-examination of the Akkadian, Biblical, and Egyptian sources reveals that the passing mention of Taharqa in the Biblical account can be best understood as a redactional linkage which reflects incorrect memory of past events at the time of a redactor. This conclusion leads to better understanding of other controversial issues such as the chronological reconstruction of the 25th dynasty and the extent of Taharqa's control over the Levant before Esarhaddon's campaign in 679 B.C.E.
15:15 Ehud Ben Zvi (Alberta) "The Genre of the Prophetic Book and
its Socio-historical Background in Postmonarchic Israel"
Recent debates about the ‘changing face/s of Form Criticism’ at the beginning of this century have brought an emphasis on a genre that is rarely mentioned in most form-critical studies of prophetic books, namely the prophetic book. Still, a study of this genre and of its (so-called) Sitz im Leben seem crucial for historical-critical studies in the prophetic books and for historical reconstructions of the society/ies within which and for which these books were written.
University President’s Reception/Réception du président
19:00-21:00 (DKN OA)
The Craigie Lecture/La conférence Craigie
Prof. James M. Robinson, Arthur Letts Jr. Professor of Religion, Claremont
"The Historical Jesus, Q and Nag Hammadi"
21:00-23:00 (DKN O)
Joint Reception/Réception Conjointe
Saturday, May 26 / Samedi, 26 Mai
7:45-8:45 (FAS 813)
Activité spéciale pour les étudiants / Special Event for Students
sponsored by the Faculté de théologie et de sciences religieuses de l'Université Laval and the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion/ Corporation canadienne des sciences religieuses
Petit-déjeuner causerie avec/Breakfast with Professeur James M. ROBINSON
Professor Robinson will trace for us, in French and English, the progress of
his career and research./ Le professeur Robinson nous entretiendra, en français
et en anglais, des étapes marquantes de sa carrière.
Please confirm your presence by contacting : email@example.com
CCSR Board Meeting
8:45-10:45 (VAC 3820)
Religious Rivalries / Rivalités religieuses
Presiding/Présidence: Richard S. Ascough (Queen’s)
8:45 Leif Vaage (Emmanuel College) "Why Christianity Succeeded
(in) the Roman Empire"
This paper is a response to my own introductory essay to the work of the Religious Rivalries seminar and to our intervening conversation with one another during the last 7 years. The paper does not pretend to synthesize everything that has been done but, rather, aims to sharpen some earlier suppositions on the basis of what we might be held to have learned thus far. Again, it will be obvious that my own interest in this discussion has primarily to do with early Christianity. I do not think that Christianity was somehow destined, in any way, to succeed (in) the Roman Empire. Neither do I think, however, that Christianity's eventual success in this realm was simply a function of fortune or due to a mix of happy accident and propitious habits. Without denying the role(s) that such factors undoubtedly played in constructing later Christian hegemony, such factors were able to contribute to this outcome, I suggest, only because the script of Christian supremacy was already sufficiently composed and operative in the centuries before official dominance was achieved. Though not necessarily a contradiction of the thesis of Rodney Stark and its possible improvements, I shall propose, in contrast, a discursive reason for the eventual political success of early Christianity in the Roman empire. To my own amazement (or consternation), I will claim that it was the specific (political) nature of early Christianity's "message" that ultimately constitutes a key reason for its subsequent imperial coronation.
9:15 Michele Murray (Bishop’s) "Was there Religious Co-existence or
Competition in ancient Priene?"
Discovered in the Ionian city of Priene was an adapted private house, located in the domestic quarter of the city. Initially identified by excavators as a Christian Hauskirche (fourth/fifth century CE), the building is now properly identified as a synagogue (second or third century CE) which was constructed through the renovation of a private home. What makes this synagogue discovery particularly intriguing is its juxtaposition with a sanctuary to the deified Alexander the Great and a temenos belonging to the cult of Cybele, both likewise adapted sites. This paper will analyze this archaeological evidence and explore its implications from a religious rivalries perspective.
9:45 James Knight (Wycliffe) "Was Roma the Scarlet Harlot ?: The
Worship of the Goddess Roma in Sardis and Smyrna"
In an ongoing effort to unravel the ‘Whore of Babylon’ passage (Rev 17:1-19:8) some scholars have associated this female image with the goddess Roma. For instance, David Aune has argued in his recent commentary that the description of the harlot figure in Rev 17:1-8 was based on an artistic depiction of the goddess Roma. In response to this assertion, this paper endeavours to study the nature and scope of worship of the goddess Roma in Sardis and Smyra in order to determine if this could provide a plausible backdrop for the harlot vision. It is hoped that the results of our inquiry will clarify the nature of the seer’s critique of the Roman Empire and the degree to which Christians in these particular cities interacted with others.
10:15 Mary Rose D'Angelo (Notre Dame) "Eusebeia--Roman Imperial
Family Values and the Sexual Politics of 4 Maccabees"
Both 4 Maccabees and 1Timothy appropriate eusebeia, the Greek version of pietas, the Roman imperial virtue that best approximates "family values" combined with religious observance. Both texts give eusebeia a central role, and both are explicitly concerned with the threat of persecution. Both texts have frequently been assigned to the first half of the second century. This essay traces the imperial context of eusebeia from its début in the propaganda of Augustus through its reiterations up to Hadrian, and delineates the differing sexual politics that accompany the differing dialectics of accommodation and resistance in the apologetics of 4Maccabees and 1 Timothy.
11:00-12:30 (VAC 3820)
Feminisms, Culture and the Bible/Feminismes, culture et la Bible
Bible and Gender
Presiding/Présidence: Fiona Black (Alberta)
11:00 Karen Eliasen (Saint Paul) "Shelomith the Danite (Lev. 24:11):
What’s in a Name in Leviticus?"
In the mass of patriarchal ritual and judicial laws which dominate Leviticus, two slim narratives noticeably stand out. One of these, the story of the stoning of the blasphemer in Lev 24:10-23, mentions a woman not only by personal name but also by tribal name - information which is most peculiar in a book which otherwise makes no space for either women’s or tribal names. This paper examines both the narrative elements and the ritual motifs which link this doubly-named woman to the other slim Levitical narrative, the Nadab and Abihu incident in Lev 10. Since this incident occurs in the wake of the ordination and installation of the High Priest, discerner par excellence of Yahweh’s law, the suggested link raises some disturbing questions about law in Leviticus; these questions relate above all to Leviticus` patriarchal understanding of how law, be it ritual or judicial, deals with the perceived `feminine` quality of the passions.
11:25 Christine Mitchell (Carleton) "Erasing Women in Chronicles"
In this paper I examine the construction of gender in Chronicles. First I briefly discuss the ideology of Chronicles and link this ideology with Habermas’s concept of the public and private spheres; I also discuss the implications of the work done by feminists on Habermas’s theories. Next I discuss the roles of women in Chronicles, focussing especially on the depictions of Athaliah and the Queen of Sheba. Finally I show how the Chronicler, in his construction of an ideal Israel and an ideal king, also constructs gender. Gender is inextricably bound up with the public life of Israel: men are constructed as operative in the public life, women are erased.
11:55 Karen Williams (Emmanuel College)
12:10 Catherine Rose (York University)
9:00-12:15 (VAC 3830)
Ecstasy and Experience/l’Extase et l’expérience
Presiding/Présidence: Stephen Muir (Calgary)
9:00 Harry O. Maier (University British Columbia) "I,
John: First Person Narration and the Diagnosis of Madness in the Book of Revelation"
For much of John of Patmos’ ecclesiastical career our seer lived imprisoned on an island. More recently in scholarly treatments (Stephen Moore, Tina Pippin, Catherine Keller) he has been showing up in the clinic. With help from artistic representations of John from the Middle Ages onward, this paper considers the mental history of John in biblical exegesis, iconography, and psychological evaluation. He is a difficult nut to crack. The first person narration of John’s Revelation resists any easy psychological diagnosis. Seeing with John’s eyes, hearing with his ears, we discover ourselves read every time we pick-up the case book and try to analyse it. With some help from Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation and Birth of the Clinic the paper seeks to free John from the clinic and to return him to wild Patmos , so his madness may once again cross-examine reasoned exegesis.
9:30 Dietmar Neufeld (University British Columbia) "Whether Inside
the Body, or Outside the Body: Rituals of Ecstasy and the Body in the PGM"
While conventional wisdom suggests the denigration of body in Greco-Roman thought and philosophy, the body, as presented in the PGM, displays a peculiar ambivalence about the role it plays in rituals of ecstasy. On the one hand, a promotion of a disembodied state to achieve ecstasy and, on the other, a promotion of an embodied state to achieve ecstasy. This paper will explore these dynamics.
10:15 Colleen Shantz (Toronto) "The Neural Pathway to Paradise:
a Medical-Anthropological Reading of 2 Corinthians 12:1-4"
Paul’s letters allude to his experience of ecstatic prayer, his frequent practice of speaking in tongues and an "abundance" of visions and revelations. Yet, Pauline scholarship has been far more interested in discussing Paul’s opposition to such ecstatic practice than it has been in recognizing Paul’s own participation in these very experiences. This paper attempts to address the neglect of Paul’s experience, in general, and a common misreading of 2 Cor 12:1-4, in particular, through the use of medical anthropology. The paper presents relevant studies of brain and biochemical functioning during altered states of consciousness and discusses their significance in rereading Paul’s vision of "paradise."
10:45 Alan Segal (Barnard College) "Ecstasy and Life After Death"
The Bible had for so long avoided describing life after death that when it appeared in Hebrew culture a special justification had to be sought. That justification was found in prophetic dreams and daytime visions. This paper shows how important ecstatic experience was to the late Biblical tradition.
11:15 Nicola Denzey (Skidmore College) "Early Christians on Ecstasy:
Control of Emotions as Spiritual Paideia"
This paper discusses early Christian philosophies of emotions. Christians of the first and second centuries invested tremendous effort in classifying, ordering, and arranging the passions into some manner of containable taxon, producing a "physics of despair, desire, fascination and envy." Certain philosophically-minded Christians of the second century, following Stoic handbooks, reduced all negative human emotions to four -- generally phobos (fear), lupe (distress), hedonia (pleasure), and epithymia (desire). Platonists, Pythagoreans, Stoics, then finally Christians concurred that emotions and sensations were distasteful and complicating, lowering human dignity beyond the even instinct of animals into the sheer irrationality of unchecked impulses and actions. They advocated, variously, eudaimonia, the happiness that came from living conformably with nature, or apatheia, freedom from emotional bondage. The issue we will ponder in this paper is whether the path of salvation through restriction and rejection of the senses and emotions constitutes early Christian mysticism or anti-mysticism.
12:00-1:00 (VAC 3870)
AGM of the Canadian Corporation for Studies in Religion/
Assemblée annuelle de la Corporation canadienne des sciences religieuses
13:00-17:15 (CAU 3171)
JOINT SESSION / SÉANCE CONJOINT
sponsored by the CSPS with members from CSPS, CSSR, CSBS
"Naming Religious Groups": Cooperative Seminars between the Buddhist Studies Group of the Canadian Society for the Study of Religion (CSSR) and the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies (CSPS)
17:15-19:00 (Salle BNF 4423)
"Get together" Special Event for Students / Activité spéciale pour les étudiants
offerte par le Groupe de recherche en christianisme ancien (GRECA)
et l'Institut d'études anciennes de l'Université Laval
DKN: Charles-De Koninck, VAC: Adrien Vachon
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