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[XTalk] Re: Journal: Media Reviews?

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  • Nichael Cramer
    ... I think a Media Watch is a good idea and that could serve a potentially extremely valuable service. I think that, unfortunately, most of the discussion
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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      Felix Just, S.J. wrote:
      >In reply to Mark Goodacre's ideas, Bob Schacht further suggested that our
      >planned journal include regular "columns" entitled "Media Watch" (reviewing
      >Movies, TV programs, etc. dealing with Jesus) and "Web Watch" (reviewing
      >Websites and/or On-Line courses devoted to Jesus).

      I think a "Media Watch" is a good idea and that could serve a potentially
      extremely valuable service.

      I think that, unfortunately, most of the discussion here has been centered
      on such programs as --to name two examples mentioned previously-- Bill
      Moyer's Genesis and the Frontline special, "From Jesus to Christ". However
      fine these programs may have been they constitute only a near-negligible
      portion of --to use Mark Goodacre's phrase-- "the media presentations of
      Jesus and the Jesus quest".

      In reality, there are entire networks devoted to (quote) "the media
      presentation of Jesus". And I have yet to read any mention of, say, the
      700 Club, PTL, or any of the other dozens (or hundreds) hours of material
      broadcast each week. (One could imagine, for example, an entire regular
      column devoted to the nonsense spouted daily on the Bob Enya program.)

      In short, we live in a culture in which --to the overwhelming majority of
      the population-- the term "biblical scholar" means Jerry Fawell. That is a
      simple fact. Any column or journal devoted to a Media Watch of these
      issues, which does not take that fact as its starting point runs a serious
      risk of being of limited usefulness.

      Nichael
      --
      Nichael Cramer Gather the folks, tell the stories
      nichael@... break the bread. -- John Shea
      http://www.sover.net/~nichael/
    • mgrondin@tir.com
      Though it may not be an order of top priority, I think the editorial board should address the issue of distribution somewhere along the line. This issue has
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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        Though it may not be an order of top priority, I think the editorial
        board should address the issue of distribution somewhere along the
        line. This issue has not been mentioned, because it's been assumed
        that all readers will access the journal on the internet. But that
        doesn't rule out also sending the journal to subscribers in a pdf
        (Acrobat Reader) format. Among the benefits of this option (which is
        easy to do, BTW), is the ability to get an accurate fix on the size
        of readership (which screen counters can't give you), as well as some
        idea of the extent of academic readership. These pieces of information
        might be helpful in "selling" a potential writer on the idea of
        publishing in this journal. In addition, I have reason to believe
        that a significant number of academics are comfortable with email,
        but not web-browsing. Also, pdf format has a better print quality
        (if one wants to print out an article). For these and other reasons,
        the distribution of the journal in pdf format via email may increase
        acceptance and respectability.

        Mike Grondin
      • N & RJ Hanscamp
        ... (reviewing ... Ummm yes these um sound like good ideas, but don t forget that many of us don t live in the US and don t (fortunately?) get much of this
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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          >Felix Just, S.J. wrote:
          >>In reply to Mark Goodacre's ideas, Bob Schacht further suggested that our
          >>planned journal include regular "columns" entitled "Media Watch"
          (reviewing
          >>Movies, TV programs, etc. dealing with Jesus) and "Web Watch" (reviewing
          >>Websites and/or On-Line courses devoted to Jesus).
          >
          >I think a "Media Watch" is a good idea and that could serve a potentially
          >extremely valuable service.
          >
          >I think that, unfortunately, most of the discussion here has been centered
          >on such programs as --to name two examples mentioned previously-- Bill
          >Moyer's Genesis and the Frontline special, "From Jesus to Christ". However
          >fine these programs may have been they constitute only a near-negligible
          >portion of --to use Mark Goodacre's phrase-- "the media presentations of
          >Jesus and the Jesus quest".
          >
          >In reality, there are entire networks devoted to (quote) "the media
          >presentation of Jesus". And I have yet to read any mention of, say, the
          >700 Club, PTL, or any of the other dozens (or hundreds) hours of material
          >broadcast each week. (One could imagine, for example, an entire regular
          >column devoted to the nonsense spouted daily on the Bob Enya program.)
          >
          >In short, we live in a culture in which --to the overwhelming majority of
          >the population-- the term "biblical scholar" means Jerry Fawell. That is a
          >simple fact. Any column or journal devoted to a Media Watch of these
          >issues, which does not take that fact as its starting point runs a serious
          >risk of being of limited usefulness.


          Ummm yes these um sound like good ideas, but don't forget that many of us
          don't live in the US and don't (fortunately?) get much of this stuff - which
          makes it immediately irrelevant to a portion of the interested world.
          Web-watch would be a different matter, though my plea would still be not to
          make it too North American.

          Further, do we limit material (etc) to English only, or could we publish in
          other languages???

          Nigel
          Nigel Hanscamp
          Trinity Methodist Theological College
          Auckland Consortium of Theological Education, New Zealand
          Email: nar.hanscamp@...
        • Nichael Cramer
          ... Nigel Hanscamp is of course exactly right. (I was caught up in the prevailing flow of the discussion and Nigel was correct to point out the
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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            N & RJ Hanscamp wrote:
            >Ummm yes these um sound like good ideas, but don't forget that many of us
            >don't live in the US and don't (fortunately?) get much of this stuff - which
            >makes it immediately irrelevant to a portion of the interested world.
            >Web-watch would be a different matter, though my plea would still be not to
            >make it too North American.

            Nigel Hanscamp is of course exactly right. (I was caught up in the
            prevailing flow of the discussion and Nigel was correct to point out the
            --unintentionally-- provincial tone of my, and other, postings.)

            Nigel's point does, of course, raise the obvious question of the usefulness
            of a "Media Watch". As there is no single medium available to all --or
            even most-- readers, does this mean the task is, virtually by definition,
            hopeless? Or is there a practical way of establishing a set of
            country-specific Media Watches?

            (And with respect to any country-specific issues, I would only repeat that,
            for an American audience, the central facts of any "media presentations of
            Jesus" remains as I outlined them in my earlier note.)

            Nichael


            --
            Nichael Cramer Gather the folks, tell the stories
            nichael@... break the bread. -- John Shea
            http://www.sover.net/~nichael/
          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
            ... I think this is something well worth considering. An notice that that those who wish to be emerald the journal can let us know this, is something that
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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              mgrondin@... wrote:

              > Though it may not be an order of top priority, I think the editorial
              > board should address the issue of distribution somewhere along the
              > line. This issue has not been mentioned, because it's been assumed
              > that all readers will access the journal on the internet. But that
              > doesn't rule out also sending the journal to subscribers in a pdf
              > (Acrobat Reader) format. Among the benefits of this option (which is
              > easy to do, BTW), is the ability to get an accurate fix on the size
              > of readership (which screen counters can't give you), as well as some
              > idea of the extent of academic readership. These pieces of information
              > might be helpful in "selling" a potential writer on the idea of
              > publishing in this journal. In addition, I have reason to believe
              > that a significant number of academics are comfortable with email,
              > but not web-browsing. Also, pdf format has a better print quality
              > (if one wants to print out an article). For these and other reasons,
              > the distribution of the journal in pdf format via email may increase
              > acceptance and respectability.
              >

              I think this is something well worth considering. An notice that that those
              who wish to be emerald the journal can let us know this, is something that
              could be included in the announcement of the journal's inception.

              Thanks for thinking ahead!

              Jeffrey
              --
              Jeffrey B. Gibson
              7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
              Chicago, Illinois 60626
              e-mail jgibson000@...
            • Jeffrey B. Gibson
              ... Thanks for bringing this up. ... You raise an interesting question. Though I would see the primary language for discussion and contribution as English,
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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                N & RJ Hanscamp wrote:

                > Ummm yes these um sound like good ideas, but don't forget that many of us
                > don't live in the US and don't (fortunately?) get much of this stuff - which
                > makes it immediately irrelevant to a portion of the interested world.
                > Web-watch would be a different matter, though my plea would still be not to
                > make it too North American.

                Thanks for bringing this up.

                > Further, do we limit material (etc) to English only, or could we publish in
                > other languages???
                >

                You raise an interesting question. Though I would see the primary language for
                discussion and contribution as English, perhaps there should in principle be no
                bar against contributions in French or German -- just as there is none in NTS
                or ZNTW -- especially if we wish the journal to be international and to
                represent European HJ research. But this idea needs to be kicked around a bit

                Yours,

                Jeffrey
                --
                Jeffrey B. Gibson
                7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                Chicago, Illinois 60626
                e-mail jgibson000@...
              • Robert M Schacht
                On Sun, 29 Aug 1999 20:24:26 -0400 Nichael Cramer ... the ... However, many of these provincial North American media events have a
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 29, 1999
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                  On Sun, 29 Aug 1999 20:24:26 -0400 Nichael Cramer <nichael@...>
                  writes:
                  > N & RJ Hanscamp wrote:
                  > >Ummm yes these um sound like good ideas, but don't forget that many
                  > of us
                  > >don't live in the US and don't (fortunately?) get much of this
                  > stuff - which
                  > >makes it immediately irrelevant to a portion of the interested
                  > world.
                  > >Web-watch would be a different matter, though my plea would still
                  > be not to
                  > >make it too North American.
                  >
                  > Nigel Hanscamp is of course exactly right. (I was caught up in the
                  > prevailing flow of the discussion and Nigel was correct to point out
                  the
                  > --unintentionally-- provincial tone of my, and other, postings.)
                  >

                  However, many of these "provincial North American" media events have a
                  substantial web companion features, available from anywhere, and the TV
                  broadcasts are available on audiotape to anyone. This internationalizes
                  them to a great extent. Most reviews are done, in any case, after the
                  event, which neutralizes the charge of provincialism in that it is too
                  late for the locals to make a decision whether or not to watch the
                  broadcast.

                  I think the main point would be to make sure to cover important media
                  events about the historical Jesus *anywhere* in the world, and to write
                  the review from an ex post facto vantage point. One could make that point
                  early (i.e., during the first year.)

                  Bob

                  Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
                  Northern Arizona University
                  Flagstaff, AZ
                • Mark Goodacre
                  ... Good point. Bear in mind too that some of the programmes I mentioned in the initial Email are now shown internationally, e.g. we ve already had the very
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 31, 1999
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                    Bob Schacht wrote:

                    > However, many of these "provincial North American" media events have a
                    > substantial web companion features, available from anywhere, and the
                    > TV broadcasts are available on audiotape to anyone. This
                    > internationalizes them to a great extent. Most reviews are done, in
                    > any case, after the event, which neutralizes the charge of
                    > provincialism in that it is too late for the locals to make a decision
                    > whether or not to watch the broadcast.
                    >
                    > I think the main point would be to make sure to cover important media
                    > events about the historical Jesus *anywhere* in the world, and to
                    > write the review from an ex post facto vantage point. One could make
                    > that point early (i.e., during the first year.)

                    Good point. Bear in mind too that some of the programmes I
                    mentioned in the initial Email are now shown internationally, e.g. we've
                    already had the very American "From Jesus to Christ" twice on
                    network television in the UK (though mildly Anglicized). And it's
                    interesting to hear about these programmes even when one has not
                    seen them. After all, how often have we read the book before we
                    read the book review?

                    In relation to Jeffrey's call for slowing up on this (reverse roles -- I like
                    it!), I think that it is fine to continue to brainstorm while we think about
                    editorial boards etc. It will be nice to be able to present some good,
                    strong ideas to the editorial board.

                    Mark
                    --------------------------------------
                    Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
                    Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
                    University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
                    Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

                    http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                    The New Testament Gateway
                    Mark Without Q
                    Aseneth Home Page
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