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Re: Heidegger's Influence

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  • Stevan Davies
    ... Surely the question what did Jesus say versus what did people attribute to him that he didn t say would arise under any modern circumstances. But I do
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 1998
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      Shawn Kelley wrote:
      > What has this to do with the Synoptic Problem? Nothing directly, I suppose,
      > but I do think that it intrudes on the issues in a number of ways.
      > i) Arguments about earlier/later or primitive/more developed may be influenced
      > by Heidegger's aesthethic and philosophical views on primordiality and
      > authenticity. One must be on guard.

      Surely the question "what did Jesus say" versus "what did people
      attribute to him that he didn't say" would arise under any modern
      circumstances. But I do think that there are criteria for
      "authenticity" that may indeed be influenced by factors that are not
      strictly historical.

      > ii) Parable scholarship is particularly vulnerable here, given the desire to
      > have the parables do so much. This could effect arguments about early/late
      > parables in Thomas, Q, Jesus or Mark. I hope, ultimately, to help rethink the
      > rather standard assumptions about the antithesis between parable and allegory.

      There is at least one third category, the "example story" e.g. Luke's
      Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan. People do indeed want parables to
      do "so much." I found at least 12 parables experts writing about how
      parables were psychologically transformative in dramatic ways, a
      notion that fit my own theories, but I have yet to think that they
      make good cases for such dramatic effect. I just hoped they knew what
      they were talking about... but now wish I hadn't done so in print.

      The canon within a canon, which is the authentic Jesus sayings has a
      canon within it too, which is the parables.

      > iii) Some literary readings of Gospels are influenced in the same way. Fowler,
      > for example, reads Mark as a parable that gets flattened out and allegorized by
      > Matthew. He makes a number of moves that are questionable from a literary
      > point of view (i.e. he doesn't follow Mark's plot), because he is guided by
      > aesthetic assumptions about parable/allegory, authentic/inauthentic. Thus
      > particular arguments on the relation of Matthew or Luke to Mark must be
      > carefully scrutinized.
      > iv) In a similar way, there is a long history of reading Luke-Acts through the
      > eyes of Conzelmann and Haenchen- with Luke ruining the primitive Christian
      > eschatology and kerygma through his disreputable salvation history. One must
      > be careful in employing such categories for Luke.

      In my opinion there is an enormous amount of Protestant thinking
      behind all of this. As I see it the Protestant restorationist view is
      that there once was a time of Christian perfection, the time of the
      NT, and everything deviating from that time is ruining the
      perfection. Thus we may dismiss everything from 120 to 1500
      categorically. But before 120 Protestant leaders (I think of Luther)
      do tend to separate out the more perfect from the perfect, favoring
      let us say Romans over James, Matthew over Revelation. So we do
      have a period of mythic time, the NT period, and within that mythic
      time, with only the slightest input of sophistication (i.e. the texts
      are not all of one point of view), the desire to separate out the most
      perfect exemplars of that mythic time. The historical Jesus quest
      then favors, not Romans, but Jesus.

      But... I would say that this sort of thing is ongoing well before
      Heidegger. From your analysis I thought him quite representative of
      the protestant worldview and am surprised to learn he was raised
      Catholic.

      > v) The popularity of Q, particularly for Mack, is in some way related to the
      > long history of the reception of Heidegger. This may help explain why someone
      > like Goulder gets no respect here in the US. Q may well be embraced, by some,
      > for ideological reasons. If Goulder gets rid of Q, then it makes sense to
      > ignore him.

      I would suggest severing the hypothesis of Q as a literary source-
      critical theory from the use of Q as a most authentic text. I do not
      think these are the same thing. I could, then, agree with your first
      sentence in v) above but disagree with the second. The popularity of
      Q is one thing, the almost universally perceived incompetence of
      Goulder is another thing. One might argue vis a vis Q (as people do
      vis a vis Thomas) that even conceding that each text contains less
      mediated Jesus sayings than do the canonical texts, nevertheless each
      is so thoroughly mediated that neither is thereby more useful, as
      texts, than are the canonical texts. Thus we cast aside all texts,
      including Q, and construct a new text of "authentic" sayings. Now,
      whether that "authentic" is Heidegger's "authentic" depends I think
      on the claims made for it and not the notion of historical
      reliability, which also is called "authenticity." Watch out for
      equivocation on "authenticity."

      Hmmm.

      Church is more authentic than anything else -- prereformation
      NT is more authentic than the church -- reformation
      Paul/Synoptics are more authentic than the NT whole -- Luther
      Synoptics are more authentic than the NT -- Quest for HJ
      Thomas[//synoptics]+Q are more authentic than the NT -- JSem
      Jesus is more authentic than Thomas/Q -- Crosstalk's presupposition

      You've brought interesting things to think about.

      Steve
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