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[ANE-2] on denying diversity

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  • Graham Hagens
    ... I don t always agree with Niels, but I do this time. He is not saying that the HB is monolithic, he is saying that the image of Judaism becomes monolithic
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2010
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      --- On Mon, 1/4/10, victor avigdor hurowitz <victor@...> wrote:

      >...
      > Dear Niels Peter, ...I am certainly in disagreement with what you write here ...Since when is HN [i.e. HB] monolithic? What has Biblical
      > scholarship been about ...if not its literary  complexity and
      > composite nature? It's  complexity has been the bane of its readers from the "redactors" who tried
      > to put divergent literary "stuff" into a coherent whole all
      > the way down to today when harmonist readers looking for the unified word  God try to
      > explain away all its contradictions. AS I said, we have a
      > diverse sea ...try to unify by introducing  "orthodoxy" ...
      >Personally, I live by the unifiers but do my scholarship by the >diversifiers ...

      >
      > > [Niels wrote] Dear Victor,
      > >
      > > My point was that if people begin defining Jews following the HB only, they end up with a very monolithic and unhistorical image of
      > Judaism.

      I don't always agree with Niels, but I do this time.
      He is not saying that the HB is monolithic, he is saying that the image of Judaism becomes monolithic if people define the Jews using the HB.
      There is some truth to this because when people make that equation they do not usually consider the profound complexities in the HB to which Victor refers. They might rather be thinking of a limited number of practices referred to in the biblical tradition (some of which have been cited as markers in these recent exchanges).
      The reality is that the practice of Judaism (like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc.) is vastly more complex than that.
      Your very last point illustrates that beautifully: don't we all operate on multiple mental levels to complete different tasks?
      (Somebody once said that one should never underestimate the ability of intelligent people to believe two or more contradictory things at the same time).

      Graham Hagens
      Hamilton, Ontario
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