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Was HJ the founder of a new religion?

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Dear Liz, Glad to see you re still around! Of course I was speaking loosely; I should have said widely regarded as or some such, on the grounds that
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 5, 2003
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      At 10:01 PM 4/5/2003 -0500, you wrote:


      > Bob Schacht wrote (referring to Jesus)
      >
      > if the founder of a religion is arguably interested in theology, then his
      >theology is a legitimate focus of debate.
      >
      > Dear Bob,
      > Do we know that the HJ is the founder of a religion?
      > What is the basis for this conclusion?
      > Thanks,
      > Liz Fried

      Dear Liz,
      Glad to see you're still around! Of course I was speaking loosely; I should
      have said "widely regarded as" or some such, on the grounds that 99.9% of
      those who consider themselves followers of him call themselves
      "Christians," a name usually taken to refer to him. I grant your
      implication of his Jewish roots, certainly, and I do not think he intended
      to found a new religion. It is only others that thought so.
      Thanks,
      Bob

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mike Grondin
      ... This strikes me as rather an over-reaction, Bob. I did label it as my opinion, and I certainly didn t argue at length for it, so the marks of polemic are
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 5, 2003
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        In response to my statement:
        > Theology is the realm of the silly, I think, and so we best stay
        > away from it....

        --- Bob Schacht wrote:
        > I ***strongly*** object to this polemic.

        This strikes me as rather an over-reaction, Bob. I did label it as
        my opinion, and I certainly didn't argue at length for it, so the
        marks of polemic are mostly missing. I will agree with you, however,
        that we can't really (nor should we) "stay away" from theology in
        the sense of discussing what J's theology might have been. What I
        meant was that we ought to stay away from expressing our own beliefs
        about theology. Allison didn't do that in either _Jesus of Nazareth_
        (see his Epilogue), nor in the material for the seminar (see
        his "Reflections" section in the Gehenna chapter).

        > ... if the founder of a religion is arguably interested in
        > theology, then his theology is a legitimate focus of debate.

        I agree - though we need not assume Jesus to have been the founder
        of a religion. Let's just say, "If the subject of our study was
        interested in X, then HIS/HER beliefs about X are relevant."

        > Mike might have been OK to argue that *Allison's* theology was
        > not particularly relevant to the study of the historical Jesus,
        > but he goes much farther than that in declaring *all*
        > theology to be "the realm of the silly." All this really does
        > is tell us about Mike's biases. And I find his polemic very,
        > very, objectionable.

        Gosh, I guess that one little remark must have had quite a punch to
        it! I'm not used to my comments having any impact whatsoever. <g>
        But Bob, didn't you pass on Jim West's question to Allison? Why was
        that question and Allison's answer not objectionable, but my one
        mild remark has got you in a tizzy? Is it that Allison was asked and
        I wasn't? Then if the answer would have had to have been polemical,
        why let the question through?

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • Bob Schacht
        ... Allison was a special guest, and his seminar was a special format. As such, he had more leeway, if he chose to use it (and he did). Were he to become a
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 5, 2003
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          At 04:36 AM 4/6/2003 +0000, you wrote:
          >In response to my statement:
          > > Theology is the realm of the silly, I think, and so we best stay
          > > away from it....
          >
          >--- Bob Schacht wrote:
          > > I ***strongly*** object to this polemic.
          >
          >This strikes me as rather an over-reaction, Bob. I did label it as
          >my opinion, and I certainly didn't argue at length for it, so the
          >marks of polemic are mostly missing. I will agree with you, however,
          >that we can't really (nor should we) "stay away" from theology in
          >the sense of discussing what J's theology might have been. What I
          >meant was that we ought to stay away from expressing our own beliefs
          >about theology. Allison didn't do that in either _Jesus of Nazareth_
          >(see his Epilogue), nor in the material for the seminar (see
          >his "Reflections" section in the Gehenna chapter).

          Allison was a special guest, and his seminar was a special format. As such,
          he had more leeway, if he chose to use it (and he did). Were he to become a
          regular member of this list, he would need to modify his arguments
          accordingly. The readings for the Seminar contained theological
          speculations, so that any prospective member who would find such
          speculations offensive was free to refrain from joining the seminar.


          > > ... if the founder of a religion is arguably interested in
          > > theology, then his theology is a legitimate focus of debate.
          >
          >I agree - though we need not assume Jesus to have been the founder of a
          >religion.

          Liz has already corrected me on that one <g>

          >Let's just say, "If the subject of our study was
          >interested in X, then HIS/HER beliefs about X are relevant."

          Agreed.


          > > Mike might have been OK to argue that *Allison's* theology was
          > > not particularly relevant to the study of the historical Jesus,
          > > but he goes much farther than that in declaring *all*
          > > theology to be "the realm of the silly." All this really does
          > > is tell us about Mike's biases. And I find his polemic very,
          > > very, objectionable.
          >
          >Gosh, I guess that one little remark must have had quite a punch to
          >it! I'm not used to my comments having any impact whatsoever. <g>
          >But Bob, didn't you pass on Jim West's question to Allison? Why was
          >that question and Allison's answer not objectionable, but my one
          >mild remark has got you in a tizzy?

          Because one was to the seminar, and the other was addressed to XTalk.

          BTW, I think it arguable that *all* historians, of whatever persuasion,
          *always* do theology, whether overtly or covertly. For example, an atheist
          who refuses to consider divine action in history is doing theology (albeit
          of a negative variety) every bit as much as a theist who is prone to
          consideration of divine action in history. *Both* are theological stances.

          Bob

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Mike Grondin
          ... I think it s arguable too. Is that what you meant? Or did you mean arguably true ? In any case, do you really mean all historians , or just historians of
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 5, 2003
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            --- Bob Schacht wrote:
            > BTW, I think it arguable that *all* historians, of whatever
            > persuasion, *always* do theology, whether overtly or covertly.

            I think it's arguable too. Is that what you meant? Or did you
            mean "arguably true"? In any case, do you really mean "all
            historians", or just historians of religious subjects? Surely a
            history of the life and times of Lincoln doesn't involve theological
            judgements? But a history of the life and times of, say, Joseph
            Smith, does?

            > For example, an atheist who refuses to consider divine action in
            > history is doing theology (albeit of a negative variety) every bit
            > as much as a theist who is prone to consideration of divine action
            > in history. *Both* are theological stances.

            I beg to disagree. It seems to me a contradiction in terms to say
            that abstaining from something amounts to doing it. In fact, it
            seems to me that not even doing a history of theology amounts to
            doing theology, any more than writing a history of the Civil War
            amounts to fighting the Civil War.

            Mike
          • Andrew Lloyd
            ... bit ... action ... This is simple poststructuralism, particularly the Derridean kind. The language that we use is rhetorical and cannot set the terms in an
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 6, 2003
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              --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...>
              quoted Bob Schacht:
              >an atheist who refuses to consider divine action in
              > > history is doing theology (albeit of a negative variety) every
              bit
              > > as much as a theist who is prone to consideration of divine
              action
              > > in history. *Both* are theological stances.

              Mike responded:
              > I beg to disagree. It seems to me a contradiction in terms to say
              > that abstaining from something amounts to doing it. In fact, it
              > seems to me that not even doing a history of theology amounts to
              > doing theology, any more than writing a history of the Civil War
              > amounts to fighting the Civil War.
              >
              > Mike

              This is simple poststructuralism, particularly the Derridean kind.
              The language that we use is rhetorical and cannot set the terms in
              an absolute way. In other words, neither Bob nor Mike can ever win
              because they can never close off all instabilities in the
              discussion. Thus, "abstaining from something" is indeed still doing
              it for (to take up this example) you cannot stop any subject of
              discussion from being appropriated theologically. Positive implies
              negative and vice versa. (This is not strong enough. One NEEDS the
              other to exist.) Indeed, all you can do is stop/refuse to talk about
              it in that way. In this it will make no difference that Mike
              presents fallacious examples as supposed counters to the idea he
              wishes to avoid. NOT fighting the Civil War will not make it go away
              (and not talking about God will not make God or God-talk go away
              either). As I've said before, in this specific example it seems
              just "silly" to pretend that the historical Jesus is not a
              theological subject. It is in terms of a historical problem and in
              terms of a historical context and also in terms of the practice
              (academic or otherwise) of its contemporary participants. To repeat
              a thought common in some places: "historical Jesus" is itself a
              theological construct.

              Andrew Lloyd (PhD cand.)
              Department of Biblical Studies
              University of Sheffield, UK
            • Loren Rosson
              ... Good for you, Bob. I, for one, appreciated seeing how Dale Allison s theology squared with his reconstruction of Jesus. And it was the best online seminar
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 6, 2003
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                Bob Schacht wrote:

                > Allison was a special guest, and his seminar was a
                > special format. As such,
                > he had more leeway, if he chose to use it (and he
                > did). Were he to become a
                > regular member of this list, he would need to modify
                > his arguments
                > accordingly. The readings for the Seminar contained
                > theological speculations, so that any
                > prospective member who would find such
                > speculations offensive was free to refrain from
                > joining the seminar.

                Good for you, Bob. I, for one, appreciated seeing how
                Dale Allison's theology squared with his
                reconstruction of Jesus. And it was the best online
                seminar (hosted by XTalk or C-P) I've ever
                participated in. Mike's objections can be taken with a
                grain of salt. That he was personally bothered by
                Allison's theological outlook is obvious; otherwise he
                would have just let the issue alone. I can't believe
                anyone on this list would be insecure enough to be
                offended by occasional theological speculations
                (whether agreeable or disagreeable) offered by leading
                scholars who make time for these special seminars.

                Thanks again to Jeffrey (and Bob) for organizing a
                great seminar.

                Loren Rosson III
                Nashua NH
                rossoiii@...

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              • David C. Hindley
                ... his reconstruction of Jesus. And it was the best online seminar (hosted by XTalk or C-P) I ve ever participated in. Mike s objections can be taken with a
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 6, 2003
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                  Loren Rosson III says:

                  >>I, for one, appreciated seeing how Dale Allison's theology squared with
                  his reconstruction of Jesus. And it was the best online seminar (hosted by
                  XTalk or C-P) I've ever participated in. Mike's objections can be taken with
                  a grain of salt. That he was personally bothered by Allison's theological
                  outlook is obvious; otherwise he would have just let the issue alone. I
                  can't believe anyone on this list would be insecure enough to be offended by
                  occasional theological speculations (whether agreeable or disagreeable)
                  offered by leading scholars who make time for these special seminars.<<

                  When I initially read the three chapters of Allison's book, I realized that
                  they were more about reconciliation of the results of his
                  historical-critical investigations with his Anglican confession of faith
                  than they were about particulars of his historical criticism. I did pick up
                  on his poststructural themes, and considered posting something about them,
                  but ultimately chose not to (although I'll admit that a family-related
                  crisis had more to do with my lack of participation than a distaste for the
                  issue of faith-history reconciliation).

                  Respectfully,

                  Dave Hindley
                  Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                • Mike Grondin
                  Dear Loren (and others), I ve taken quite a personal pummeling over the subject note, but I m secure enough to withstand that and I hope now that we can
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 6, 2003
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                    Dear Loren (and others),

                    I've taken quite a personal pummeling over the subject note, but I'm
                    secure enough to withstand that <g> and I hope now that we can put
                    an end to it. It was a mistake to think (as I did) that every
                    subject raised in the Allison seminar could be discussed on XTalk.
                    Other than that, I, too, found the seminar very valuable. Allison
                    was quite open and honest about his thinking processes. In fact, I'm
                    anxious to discuss the difference between his response and your own
                    to the "prophecy against the temple", so I hope that the present
                    episode doesn't poison the waters for such a future discussion.

                    Mike Grondin
                    Mt. Clemens, MI
                  • Loren Rosson
                    ... Sounds good, Mike. Which difference did you have in mind? Loren Rosson III Nashua NH rossoiii@yahoo.com __________________________________________________
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 7, 2003
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                      Mike wrote:

                      > In fact, I'm anxious to discuss the
                      > difference between [Dale Allison's]
                      > response and your own
                      > to the "prophecy against the temple",

                      Sounds good, Mike. Which difference did you have in
                      mind?

                      Loren Rosson III
                      Nashua NH
                      rossoiii@...

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