The Social Worlds of Early Christians

Symposium website “The Social Worlds of Early Christians: A Symposium in Honor of L. Michael White” includes recorded presentations and live Zoom panel discussions (October 24, 2020, at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 3:00pm CST). Registration is free, but required (scroll down to the bottom of the page to sign up).

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Dark and Light: Wil Gafney on White Supremacy in Biblical Interpretation

Professor Wil Gafney (Brite Divinity School) provides a short talk on light and darkness in the Bible, and its employment as a basis for White Supremacist interpretations of the Bible.

Paul and the Construction of the European Self: Fatima Tofighi vs. James Crossley

On August 4, 2020, Dr Fatima Tofighi (University of Religions, Qom) and Prof James Crossley discussed “Paul and the Construction of the European Self”.

The discussion is the 13th in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.

The Difference Gender Makes: Sarah Rollens and Candida Moss vs Chris Keith

On July 20, 2020, Dr Sarah Rollens (Rhodes College) and Prof Candida Moss discussed “The Difference Gender Makes in Scholarship, Publication, and Promotion”.

The discussion is the 12th in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.

Christ’s Associations: John Kloppenborg vs. Chris Keith

On May 19, 2020, Professors John Kloppenborg and Chris Keith had a Zoom discussion on Kloppenborg’s recent book, Christ’s Associations (Yale UP, Nov 2019).

The discussion is the sixth in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.

Remembering John Ball and the Bible of the ‘Peasants’ Revolt (James Crossley vs. Chris Keith)

The fourth of the 2020 CSSSB Online Discussion Series will be held on Monday, May 4, at 7pm BST (2pm EST/11am PST). CSSSB’s Prof James Crossley and Prof Chris Keith discuss John Ball, the Peasants Revolt, the Bible, Accordion playing, and the Historical Jesus.

The Gospel as Manuscript: James Crossley vs. Chris Keith

The third of the 2020 CSSSB Online Discussion Series was held on Monday, April 20, at 7pm BST (2pm EST/11am PST). CSSSB’s Prof James Crossley and Prof Chris Keith discuss Keith’s new book, The Gospel as Manuscript: An Early History of the Jesus Tradition as Material Artifact (OUP 2020).

The Historical Jesus and Current Trends in Research: James Crossley vs. Chris Keith

On April 6, 2020, Professors James Crossley and Chris Keith had a Zoom discussion on the Historical Jesus and Current Trends in Research.

The discussion is the first in the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible’s 2020 Online Discussion Series.

 

Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife

On May 16-17, 2019, at the Husitská teologická fakulta at Univerzity Karlovy in Czechoslovakia, a conference was held on the subject of “Social Memory Theory and Conceptions of Afterlife”.

Many of the papers at the conference were recorded:

Thursday, May 16th

I. Afterlife from Ancient Egypt and Israel to Early Judaism
10:15 – 10:45 Jiří Janák – Weighing of the Heart: Ancient Egyptian Judgement of the Dead and its Later Developments

10:45 – 11:15 Craig Broyles – The Nightmare of Sheol and the Counter-Memories of Yahwism

11:30 – 12:00 Dávid Cielontko – Eleazar Remembered: The Death and Afterlife of the Maccabean Martyr

II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – A
14:00 – 14:30 Sandra Huebenthal – Additional Notes to an Unfinished Symphony. Ressurection and Afterlife according to Mark
14:30 – 15:00 Thomas R. Hatina – When the Saints Go Marching in: Remembering Vengeance and Vindication in Matthew 27:52–53

15:15 – 15:45 Torsten Jantsch – A memory of Hades: The description of the underworld in Luke 16:19–31 and accounts of journeys into Hades in early Jewish and Greco-Roman literature

15:45 – 16:15 Kyle Parsons – From Romans to Colossians: Making Sense of Competing Conceptions of Resurrection

16:15 – 16:45 František Ábel – The Anamnestic Rhetoric of the Eucharistic Tradition Reflected in 1 Cor 11:24–25: Its Meaning and Role in Perspective of Afterlife Conception

Friday, May 17th

II. Afterlife in Early Christianity – B
10:00 – 10:30 Tobias Nicklas – The Apocalypse of Peter and its Otherworldly Landscape of Memories

10:30 – 11:00 Christian Handschuh – Extended Memory? Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis as „Exempla fidei“

11:00 – 11:30 Jiří Lukeš – The Apocryphal Acts of Paul and Thecla – Sexual Asceticism as a Condition of Eternal Life

III. Hermeneutics and Memory
11:45 – 12:15 Petr Pokorný – Social Memory Theory and Formgeschichte

12:15 – 12:45 Zeba Crook – Form Criticism vs. Memory Theory on Resurrection Belief

14:00 – 14:30 Jan Payne – Program for Hermeneutics – To Understand the Past Is to Understand How the Passed Ones Approached Their Future

14:30 – 15:00 Lukáš Nikl – The Potential and Limits of Social Memory Approaches in Biblical Studies
15:00 Closing Discussion

 

Robert Alter on Translating the Bible and The Art of Biblical Narrative

On January 29 and 30, 2020, Professor Robert Alter delivered two lectures at the Brigham Young University Maxwell Institute. In his first lecture, he discusses his translation of the Bible and in the second he discusses his writing of The Art of Biblical Narrative (1981).

 

 

Robert Alter published The Art of Biblical Narrative in 1981—a seismic moment in the history of interpreting the Hebrew Bible. Literary analysis of scripture in the academy took off like never before. Alter’s work showed that biblical authors were not mere primitive scribblers; they were “among the pioneers of prose fiction in the Western tradition” in matters of narrative, character, organization, and so much more. Using the tools of literary criticism, Alter has helped countless readers find countless treasures in these ancient texts.

For nearly a quarter of a century, Alter worked on his own translation of the Hebrew Bible, which was published last year in three volumes of over 3,000 pages. In this special guest lecture, Alter discusses the challenges of translating scripture today.

In a lecture the following day, January 30, Alter discusses how he came to write “The Art of Biblical Narrative”a book that inspired scholars to appreciate the craft and composition of one of the world’s most widely-read texts.
https://mi.byu.edu/events/lecture-alter/

Johanna Stiebert’s Perverse Bible

On October 10, 2019, Professor Johanna Stiebert (University of Leeds) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture:

Why I Love Studying the Bible even though (and because) It’s Perverse

(Johanna Stiebert’s lecture begins at 16:08)

“In this inaugural lecture Professor Stiebert discusses her chequered and international career learning and teaching about Hebrew language and biblical studies. Her lecture focuses especially on biblical texts that surprised her – not least on account of their graphic nature. Her concluding remarks focus on the responsibilities of professors and on academic integrity.”

 

 

Nyasha Junior on Representations of Biblical Hagar

On April 18, 2019, Dr Nyasha Junior presented “Black Like Me: Representations of Biblical Hagar” in the University of Iowa’s Spring 2019 Classics Colloquium series.

Her talk begins at 4:25.

 

Paula Fredriksen vs. James Crossley: The Death of Jesus, the First Christians, Apocalypticism, and Caligula

On April 11, 2019, the Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) hosted a talk by Professor Paula Fredriksen (Boston University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. A response and exegesis of Mark 13 was given by Professor James Crossley (CenSAMM/St Mary’s University, Twickenham).

“Prof. Paula Fredriksen (Boston University/Hebrew University of Jerusalem) will be discussing her new book When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation at St Mary’s University, Twickenham at 15.00 on Thursday 11th April 2019. Prof Fredriksen is Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University. Censamm academic director, Prof James Crossley (St Mary’s University), will give a response.”

Chris Keith: Are The Gospels Historically Accurate?

The Better Questions Podcast interviews Chris Keith, Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. While the title of the podcast is “Are the Gospels Historically Accurate?”, Keith takes his cue, perhaps from the lyrics of “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”, and answers other questions:

“What is Social Memory Theory? What assumptions do we have about history? Did people in the first century think about recording history in the same way that we do? Did the events in the Gospels happen exactly as described? How can we know with 100% certainty? Does it matter?”

The interview begins at 3:30:

 

 

“We thought that we had the answers, it was the questions we had wrong”
– U2, “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”