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4938Aronson on Lao Tzu (2009)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    Sep 12, 2013
      To: GPG
      Cc: Synoptic; Alpha
      On: Aronson on Lao Tzu (2009)
      From: Bruce

      Back in 2009, I posted four notes commenting on Martin Aronson, Jesus and
      Lao Tzu (Seastone 2000). There was no response, either on the home GPG list
      or on Synoptic, to which they were cross-posted. I have the feeling that
      either (1) the subject was thought to be arcane, and people tuned it out, or
      (2) the subject was thought to be irrelevant, and people shrugged it off, or
      (3) the subject was thought to be all too relevant, and thus dangerous to
      established views, and people walled it off. Or, or course, a mix of the

      (4) A check of JSTOR suggests another possibility: the Aronson book appears
      not to have been reviewed by a serious journal (though it registers in the
      Front Matter of many), and thus there may be an impression afoot in the
      land, that whatever the potential interest of the subject, Aronson's
      presentation of it is not deserving of scholarly attention.

      My question would then be: Assuming for the moment that the subject is of
      some potential interest (I had thought it suggestive, back in 2009, though
      Aronson himself does not pick this up, that the most promising of Aronson's
      contacts were not with Mark, but with the Second Tier gospels, Matthew and
      Luke), how might that interest best be developed in a new journal devoted to
      NT matters as seen from a wider Asian perspective? Book reviews, or at least
      the ones I currently see, are mostly a waste of time, but that is one
      possibility. An article taking up the subject de novo is another
      possibility. Doing nothing is yet another possibility, but there is an awful
      lot of that going around, and one hates to contribute to what is already a

      Any suggestions (off-list will be fine) will as usual be appreciated.


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

      For those at the other end: "Lao Tzu" (Laudz) is somewhat enigmatic to the
      specialists also. I might then mention that a careful study of the Dau/Dv
      Jing text should be coming out next year, based on the best text available
      (using Gwodyen, Mawangdwei, and when these are not available, the Wang Bi
      text, judiciously scrutinized). This study will assign authorship within
      this accretional text (all names are known, and all contributions can be
      identified), and give dates for each of the passages, to within a couple of
      years at most. This may help to sharpen questions of Who and Where and When,
      which continually attend this text in its home country, where it has been
      mythologized already within the time when it was still being compiled.
      Further information on request.