Archive for November, 2009

20
Nov
09

A Sad Sign of the Times

The UMC may need to be a little more careful about the placement of their signage…

18
Nov
09

Theological Reflections on Health Care

An upcoming topic in the Project on Lived Theology’s periodic series “Conversations in Lived Theology: Offering the Freedom to Seek Ways to Have Theology Make a Difference in Our World” seems especially timely; if you’re in the area this week, be sure to check it out.

Thursday,  November 19, 2009
“Is Health Care a Human Right?: Theological reflection on the health reform debate”

Rick Mayes, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Richmond, author of  Universal Coverage: The Elusive Quest for National Health Insurance and Medicare Prospective Payment and The Shaping of U.S. Health Care

Conversations will be held at the Bonhoeffer House, 1841 University Circle, at 7:30pm. Drinks and light snacks will be provided. E-mail livedtheology@virginia.edu with any questions.

18
Nov
09

New from SBL: Five More Titles…

… including the first two volumes of History of Biblical Interpretation, from the writers of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament to John Wyclif:

The “Mysteries” of Qumran: Mystery, Secrecy, and Esotericism in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Samuel I. Thomas

This volume provides a new interpretation of the functions of “mystery” language and secrecy in the Qumran scrolls. The texts preserved and composed at Qumran by the apocalyptic group known as the Yaad display an interest in revelation, interpretation, and ritual practice, and attest to the active cultivation of esoteric arts such as astrology and astronomy, physiognomy, and therapeutic “magic.” Much like its Babylonian priestly-scribal counterparts, the Yaad fostered and guarded its “mysteries”—its store of special knowledge available only to the elect—and used “mystery” terminology (especially raz) to claim authority and to erect social boundaries around themselves as the “men of the vision” and the “house of holiness.” The “Mysteries” of Qumran offers an in-depth semantic analysis of relevant terminology and integrates social-scientific and intellectual-history approaches in focusing on an important motif in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Philodemus, On Death
W. Benjamin Henry, translator

On Death, by the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus of Gadara, is among the most significant philosophical treatments of the theme surviving from the Greco-Roman world. The author was an influential figure in first-century B.C.E. Roman society, associated with poets such as Virgil and politicians such as the father-in-law of Julius Caesar. The surviving copies of his treatises were carbonized following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E. This edition contains the Greek text, newly reconstituted with the help of the infrared imaging technology that has revolutionized the study of Philodemus’s works in the twenty-first century, and completely translated into English for the first time. An extensive introduction provides background on Philodemus and his writings, accompanying notes enrich the text, and forty-four pages of photographs illustrate the papyrus manuscript from which the translation is drawn.l

Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, editors

Who are the mothers in the biblical text? What do they do? What kinds of power do they have? Issues of identity, authority, violence, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, sexual exploitation and rape-marriage, murder, and relation to God have haunted the characters and representations of motherhood from Eve to Mary and beyond. For better or for worse, these images speak potent messages even today. To explore biblical mothers and their relationships with their daughters and sons, the contributors to this volume participate in a comparative analysis between biblical mothers and mothers in popular media, history, literature, and the arts. The diversity of methods they employ prompts a rich discussion on the deconstruction of motherhood, offering new ways of envisioning both biblical and contemporary motherhood. The contributors are Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, Madeline McClenney-Sadler, Wil Gafney, Brian Britt, Frank M. Yamada, Mignon R. Jacobs, Linda S. Schering, Mark Roncace and Deborah Whitehead, Andrew M. Mbuvi, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Brenda Wallace, Margaret Aymer, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Alison Jasper.

History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen
Henning Graf Reventlow, translated by Leo G. Perdue

From the very beginning, Holy Scripture has always been interpreted Scripture, and its interpretation determined the development and the history of both early Judaism and the first centuries of the Christian church. In this volume, the first of four on the History of Biblical Interpretation, readers will discover how the earliest interpreters of the Bible made the Scriptures come alive for their times—within the contexts and under the influences of Hellenism, Stoicism, and Platonism, as well as the interpretive methods developed in Alexandria. Particular attention is paid to innerbiblical interpretation (within the Hebrew Bible itself and in the New Testament’s reading of the Hebrew Bible), as well as to the interpretive practices reflected in the translation of the Septuagint and the writings of Qumran, Philo, the early rabbis, the apostolic fathers Barnabas and Clement, and early Christian leaders such as Justin Martyr, Marcion, Irenaeus, and Origen.

History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 2: From Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages
Henning Graf Reventlow, translated by James O. Duke

Volume 2 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with the most extensive period under examination in this four-volume set. It begins in Asia Minor in the late fourth century with Bishop Theodore of Mopsuestia, the founder of a school of interpretation that sought to accentuate the literal meaning of the Bible and thereby stood apart from ancient tradition. It ends with another outsider, a thousand years later in England, who in terms of the presuppositions of his thought stood at the end of an era: John Wyclif. In between these two interpreters, this volume presents the history of biblical interpretation from late antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages by examining the lives, works, and interpretive practices of Didymus the Blind, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede, Alcuin, John Scotus Eriugena, Abelard, Rupert of Deutz, Hugo of St. Victor, Joachim of Fiore, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Nicolas of Lyra.

 

16
Nov
09

Ritual and Certainty

An announcement from UVA’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture:

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia is pleased to announce that world-renowned author and scholar Adam Seligman will deliver a lecture on “RITUAL AND SINCERITY: CERTITUDE AND THE OTHER.” The lecture will take place at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, November 18 at Watson Manor, the home for the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, at 3 University Circle, Charlottesville, Virginia.

In his lecture, Professor Seligman will contrast how we use ritual and sincerity to frame our experiences. Seligman argues that ritual creates imaginative “as if” worlds that foster relationships between people. In contrast, sincerity is focused on self-realization and involves a search for wholeness and totality that rejects the ambiguity inherent in the world. This rejection of ambiguity makes sincerity potentially dangerous, as it threatens the plurality and heterogeneity of the world and our relations within it.

Adam B. Seligman is Professor of Religion at Boston University, the Director of the International Summer School on Religion and Public Life, and Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture. He has lived and taught at universities in the United States, Israel, and Hungary, where he was a Fulbright Fellow. He lived close to twenty years in Israel where he was a member of Kibbutz Kerem Shalom in the early 1970s.

At present, with the help of major grants from the Ford Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, he is working on the problem of religion and toleration. Part of this work is devoted to establishing school curricula for teaching tolerance from a religious perspective. His books, which have been translated into a dozen languages include, The Idea of Civil Society (Free Press, 1992), Inner-worldly Individualism (Transaction Press, 1994), The Problem of Trust (Princeton University Press, 1997), Modernity’s Wager: Authority, The Self and Transcendence (Princeton University Press, 2000), with Mark Lichbach, Market and Community (Penn State University Press, 2000), and Modest Claims, Dialogues and Essays on Tolerance and Tradition (Notre Dame University Press in 2003).

15
Nov
09

It’s Been a Busy Few Weeks…

… and posts have been few and far between.  I know, I know… I’m lame.  Have no fear, though… I’ve got some things in the pipeline, and some time to pursue them.  So stay tuned this week!

15
Nov
09

RBL Highlights: 11/15/09

Highlights from the most recent edition of the Review of Biblical Literature:

Jim W. Adams
The Performative Nature and Function of Isaiah 40-55
Reviewed by Ulrich Berges

Joseph Azize and Noel Weeks, eds.
Gilgamesh and the World of Assyria: Proceedings of the Conference Held at the Mandelbaum House, The University of Sydney, 21-23 July 2004
Reviewed by Michael Moore

John M. G. Barclay and Simon Gathercole, eds.
Divine and Human Agency in Paul and His Cultural Environment
Reviewed by Thomas R. Blanton IV

Nina Burleigh
Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

Philip Cary
Jonah
Reviewed by Jacek Stefanski

Deborah L. Ellens
Women in the Sex Texts of Leviticus and Deuteronomy: A Comparative Conceptual Analysis
Reviewed by Carolyn Pressler

J. Harold Ellens and Wayne G. Rollins, eds.
Psychology and the Bible: A New Way to Read the Scriptures (4 vols.)
Reviewed by Ron Clark

Douglas Estes
The Temporal Mechanics of the Fourth Gospel: A Theory of Hermeneutical Relativity in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by John C. Poirier

Eric Eve
The Healer from Nazareth: Jesus’ Miracles in Historical Context
Reviewed by Tobias Hagerland

K. C. Hanson and Douglas E. Oakman
Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts
Reviewed by Panayotis Coutsoumpos

James L. Resseguie
The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

Paul Wilkinson
Archaeology: What It Is, Where It Is, and How to Do It
Reviewed by Aren Maeir

07
Nov
09

RBL Highlights: 11/7/09

Highlights from the most recent edition of the Review of Biblical Literature:

Geert Hallbäck and Annika Hvithamar, eds.
Recent Releases: The Bible in Contemporary Cinema
Reviewed by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona

Larry R. Helyer
The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology
Reviewed by William Wilson
Richard S. Hess, Gerald A. Klingbeil, and Paul J. Ray Jr., eds.
Critical Issues in Early Israelite History
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton
A Survey of the Old Testament
Reviewed by William Barrick

Øystein Lund
Way Metaphors and Way Topics in Isaiah 40-55
Reviewed by James M. Kennedy

Jacob Neusner, Bruce D. Chilton, and Baruch A. Levine
Torah Revealed, Torah Fulfilled: Scriptural Laws in Formative Judaism and Earliest Christianity
Reviewed by James D. G. Dunn

Neil R. Parker
The Marcan Portrayal of the “Jewish” Unbeliever: A Function of the Marcan References to Jewish Scripture: The Theological Basis of a Literary Construct
Reviewed by Adam Winn

Robert M. Price
Jesus Is Dead
Reviewed by Tony Costa

Paul A. Rainbow
The Pith of the Apocalypse: Essential Message and Principles for Interpretation
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas

Jacqueline C. R. de Roo
Works of the Law at Qumran and in Paul
Reviewed by Jörg Frey

Susannah Ticciati
Job and the Disruption of Identity: Reading Beyond Barth
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton

01
Nov
09

How Could I Have Missed These???

They must’ve gotten buried in my inbox.  They look pretty darn interesting…

Rethinking the Gospel Sources, Volume 2: The Unity and Plurality of Q
Delbert Burkett

This work examines three disputed issues in the study of Q, the hypothetical source common to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke: its existence; its unity as a document; and the plurality of its wording. It evaluates the arguments for and against the existence of Q and concludes that some form of the Q hypothesis is necessary. It presents new evidence that most of the Q material existed as a single written source unified by recurring features of style and theme. Finally, it argues that differences between Matthew and Luke in the wording of Q were caused most often when one Evangelist replaced or combined Q with parallel material from another source.

Paper $35.95 • 296 pages • ISBN 9781589834125 • Early Christianity and Its Literature 1 • Hardback edition  www.brill.nl

Israel’s Tabernacle as Social Space
Mark K. George

The narratives about Israel’s tabernacle are neither a building blueprint nor simply a Priestly conceit securing priestly prominence in Israel. Using a spatial poetics to reexamine these narratives, George argues that the Priestly writers encode a particular understanding of Israel’s identity and self-understanding in tabernacle space. His examination of Israel’s tabernacle narratives makes space itself the focus of analysis and in so doing reveals the social values, concerns, and ideas that inform these narratives. Through a process of negotiation and exchange with the broader social and cultural world, the Priestly writers portray Israel as having an important role in the divine economy, one that is singularly expressed by this portable structure.

Paper $29.95 • 248 pages • ISBN 9781589831254 • Ancient Israel and Its Literature 2 • Hardback edition  www.brill.nl

The Making of the New Testament Documents
E. Earle Ellis

Do we really know who wrote the New Testament documents? Do we really know when they were written? Scholars have long debated these fundamental questions. This volume identifies and investigates literary traditions and their implications for the authorship and dating of the Gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Departing from past scholarship, E. Earle Ellis argues that the Gospels and the letters are products of the corporate authorship of four allied apostolic missions and not just the creation of individual authors. The analysis of literary traditions also has implications for the dating of New Testament documents. Providing a critique of the current critical orthodoxy with respect to the dating of New Testament documents, Ellis weighs the patristic traditions more heavily and more critically than has been done in the past. Ellis’s new reconstruction of the origin of the New Testament documents provides better answers than have been previously proposed to a number of critical questions. Ellis provides a comprehensive historical reconstruction of the process by which the gospel message became the Gospel books. His arguments, if persuasive, will require a reassessment of the history of early Christianity.

Paper $59.95 • 544 pages • ISBN 9781589834385 • Biblical Interpretation series • Hardback edition www.brill.nl




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© 2006-2009, Matthew Burgess. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of the original content of this website is strictly prohibited. Quotations or citations should include a link to this website. The views and opinions given here are my own and do not represent those of the University of Virginia (or anyone else, for that matter).