Baker Academic

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What I'm up to in San Antonio

If you're attending the AAR/SBL in San Antonio, I'd like to meet you. I will be talking a bit about my new book, Near Christianitytonight at the SoL Center. Larry Behrendt and I will be dialoguing about Jewish-Christian friendship. The cost of this event will be waived for those with AAR/SBL conference badges.

My more formal papers will be in these sessions:

Here are my paper abstracts: 

Jokes, Pokes, and Best Blokes: 
Exploring the Asymmetries among Jewish and Christian Readers of Scripture
Humor theorists note that jokes can be powerful tools to expose and (sometimes) subvert power asymmetries. Jokes, as philosopher Ted Cohen argues, can also create a possibility for intimacy. This paper will explore the importance of humor in Jewish-Christian dialogue, especially as it relates to reading biblical literature together. Humor shared by Jews and Christians can sometimes expose the historic power asymmetries between people groups and create the possibility of Jewish-Christian friendship. In some cases, humor can unite Jewish and Christian readers against the authority of Scripture and the hegemony of the biblical God.

A Bending before the Breaking: 
A Case Study in the Flexibility of Memory and Ethnicity in the Fourth Gospel
In the Aristotelian mapping of the social world, a large part of ethnicity was constructed by polis orientation. Geographical provenance, supposed ancestry, shared myth, etc. were factors in this construct but orientation toward a polis was crucial in determining ethnos. This was especially true for Jews as Jerusalem was home to their temple in a singular way. The Fourth Gospel, however, suggests a reorientation of early Christians. This paper will argue that some post-70 Christians began to commemorate Jesus' body as a temple and thus reoriented the poliscentricism of Jesus-following Jews. While most Jews commemorated a fallen temple with hope that it might be rebuilt, most Christians commemorated the significance of the temple by orienting toward Jesus. This variance in commemoration created the possibility for a new ethnos. The Fourth Gospel will be used a case study for this thesis.

I doubt that I will publish either of these papers anytime soon. So I probably won't disseminate rough drafts. The first of these, however, relates to chapter six of this book.


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