To my surprise, the time was ripe for the topic of memory in Jesus research.
Shortly after I finished the book, I sought out Dick Horsley for advice. Prof. Horsley is always on the cutting edge of interdisciplinary study and rides trends like a top-notch surfer boy. I was worried that if I hitched my wagon to "memory" I would crash and burn as soon as the shelf life for the trend had expired. (I've been reading St. Paul, so I'm trying to mix as many metaphors as I can.) Prof. Horsley's advice was that I shouldn't distance myself from the trend—that I might as well see it through. So far, it has been good advice. Memory has indeed become a trend and we are only scratching the surface.
Still, I continue to be cautious. Is this memory thing going to be like "critical realism"? I.e. will only a couple people really swim in the theory while a generation of others dog paddle? Or will social memory theory be like literary/narratological studies? I.e. will it continue to evolve, adapting exciting developments from other fields of study? I guess the key distinction here is that the latter remains (at its better moments) attentive to how parallel conversations are developing. I'm cautiously optimistic.
Something is screwy with our google blogger poll gadget. I have removed said poll. -acld