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Re: [XTalk] A pedagogy of Hope?

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Loren, No, I either wasn t aware, or had forgotten. Thanks! Its interesting that others have seen something similar. ... I ll look forward to that. Bob
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 11, 2004
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      At 03:43 AM 9/11/2004, Loren Rosson wrote:

      >Bob, are you aware that Bill Herzog has already drawn
      >comparisons between Jesus and Freire -- in "Parables
      >as Subversive Speech"? Like you, Herzog thinks Crossan
      >(and Scott) didn't get things quite right.

      Loren,
      No, I either wasn't aware, or had forgotten. Thanks! Its interesting that
      others have seen something similar.

      >[snip]
      >...I agree with much of what you're getting at; I think
      >Herzog has been on the right track (the Freire analogy
      >applies in a very general way), but I disagree with
      >his attempt to keep apocalyptic eschatology out of the
      >picture. I'll comment a bit more when I have more time
      >and "get back to the books" next week. :)

      I'll look forward to that.
      Bob

      Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
      Research Center, University of Hawaii
      Honolulu, HI

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Loren Rosson
      ... teaching of Jesus as a pedagogy of hope, a la Freire, and that our understanding of him and what he was trying to do might be therefore strengthened. But I
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 13, 2004
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        Bob wrote:

        >>So I raise the possibility of considering the
        teaching of Jesus as a pedagogy of hope, a la Freire,
        and that our understanding of him and what he was
        trying to do might be therefore strengthened. But I
        would also argue that Jesus' pedagogy of hope had a
        spiritual dimension that Freire's lacked. And for this
        reason, Jesus did see God's role as decisive
        (according to E. P. Sanders).<<

        As I mentioned before, Bill Herzog has made an analogy
        between Freire's literacy campaign and Jesus' kingdom
        ministry, the former using visual images
        ("codifications") as tactics in educating strategy,
        the latter using parables ("velied transcripts") in
        heralding the kingdom of God. Both codifications and
        parables enabled readers/hearers to interpret their
        nation's past in light of what had become of it in the
        present. Both Freire and Jesus worked with peasants
        and the poor, and both worked in societies deformed by
        colonial rule.

        I always rush to underscore the differences between
        the two figures, as Bob does. Freire's thought owes to
        communism, existentialism, and liberation theology,
        while Jesus' owes to Judaism, apocalypticism, and
        covenant theology. (Herzog acknowledges these
        differences save apocalyptic eschatology, which he
        denies Jesus.)

        In terms of a pedagogy of hope, I think Jesus, like
        Freire, could "not understand human existence and the
        need to improve it apart from hope and dream" (Bob's
        citation of Freire). But Jesus' dream banked on God's
        ultimate dramatic intervention. Even if people could
        do things to help along the way, a once-and-for-all
        divine righting of wrongs was the final solution.
        Freire's dream kept "higher powers" out of the picture
        and could be theoretically realized by human action
        alone.

        [Bob]
        >>However, I see Paul's pedagogy of hope proceeding a
        bit differently than Jesus's in this regard, because
        Paul's rested on the hope of the Resurrection. But
        Paul's pedagogy of hope also had to proceed without
        the earthly presence of Jesus in the flesh. As a
        result, it seems that Paul's pedagogy of hope was
        ultimately more decisive.<<

        But what's really the difference between Jesus and
        Paul here? Jesus' pedagogy rested on the hope of the
        resurrection as much as Paul's; the latter simply had
        a redefined expectation which could make sense of the
        original failed expectation.

        In any case, Bob, you'll definitely want to read
        Herzog's book on the parables. I consider it one of
        the best books on the subject to date. My criticism is
        that the sort of issues you mention are stripped to
        the extent that Jesus emerges too much like Freire.
        I'm not sure where your allusion to Crossan comes
        from. Crossan has taken a predominantly literary
        approach to the parables -- poetic metaphors of
        permanant eschatology which "shatter complacency",
        leaping from impossible literal points to metaphorical
        points, etc. (Or at least that's the 70s Crossan.
        After the 90s he admittedly started to mix
        approaches.) Herozg sees the referents in Jesus's
        parables as very real; quite often there is little
        "metaphor" going on.

        =====
        Loren Rosson III
        Nashua NH
        rossoiii@...

        "In the natural sciences a person is remembered for his best idea; in the social sciences he is remembered for his worst."



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      • Bob Schacht
        At 01:12 AM 9/13/2004, you wrote: [snip] ... Loren, Thanks for your response. Where you re hung up is that you are stuck in the domain of thought and rhetoric.
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 13, 2004
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          At 01:12 AM 9/13/2004, you wrote:

          [snip]

          >[Bob]
          > >>However, I see Paul's pedagogy of hope proceeding a
          >bit differently than Jesus's in this regard, because
          >Paul's rested on the hope of the Resurrection. But
          >Paul's pedagogy of hope also had to proceed without
          >the earthly presence of Jesus in the flesh. As a
          >result, it seems that Paul's pedagogy of hope was
          >ultimately more decisive.<<
          >
          >But what's really the difference between Jesus and
          >Paul here? Jesus' pedagogy rested on the hope of the
          >resurrection as much as Paul's; the latter simply had
          >a redefined expectation which could make sense of the
          >original failed expectation. ...

          Loren,
          Thanks for your response. Where you're hung up is that you are stuck in the
          domain of thought and rhetoric. This can lead to what Freire calls verbal
          incontinence!
          The difference I think was in the domain of what Freire calls "practice."
          With Jesus and the disciples, there was no doubt that Jesus was the
          principal actor (doer). With Paul and the early churches, "practice" had to
          be radically different-- and that difference was decisive.

          Bob
        • Loren Rosson
          ... I m still catching up on posts from the weekend, and the discussion about cognitive dissonance was interesting. Allow me to make a plug for Dale Allison,
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 14, 2004
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            Tony Buglass wrote:

            >>Wright is tackling the argument that the
            >>disciples were suffering from
            >>cognitive dissonance, the hypothetical state
            >>(sic) when groups or individuals fail to come to
            >>terms with reality but exist in a fantasy based
            >>on their own deep longings. He attributes the
            >>theory to Festinger...

            Bob commented:

            >I think Festinger tried to make his theory too
            >elaborate, which didn't help
            >his case. But I think there's a useful core to his
            >theory that should not be ignored.

            I'm still catching up on posts from the weekend, and
            the discussion about cognitive dissonance was
            interesting. Allow me to make a plug for Dale Allison,
            who has written an excellent response to Tom Wright in
            his upcoming book called "Resurrecting Jesus", to be
            published in spring 2005. Dale kindly allowed me to
            proof-read that final chapter (three other chapters
            used in the Allison Seminar remain available online)
            but I can't reveal its secrets. Enough to say that
            while Allison objects to much in Wright's ROSG, on
            this point he thinks he's somewhat in the right,
            because revision of expectations comes from dissonance
            (so Festinger). Before belief in Jesus' resurrection
            there simply was no dissonance. Jesus' crucifixion and
            the disciples' demoralization conformed to
            expectations. Those familiar with Allison's work know
            the general argument: Jesus had braced his followers
            for stuff like this; they were living in the
            tribulation; suffering/death had to precede the
            kingdom. Crucifixion and demoralization would have
            caused the disciples to go on hoping for the
            apocalypse and resurrection of the dead. Whatever
            caused belief in the resurrection, it was doubtfully
            cognitive dissonance.

            For those who want a fresh and cautious suggestion as
            to what that may have been, stay tuned for Dale's
            spring publication!

            =====
            Loren Rosson III
            Nashua NH
            rossoiii@...

            "In the natural sciences a person is remembered for his best idea; in the social sciences he is remembered for his worst."



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          • David C. Hindley
            ... had braced his followers for stuff like this; they were living in the tribulation; suffering/death had to precede the kingdom. Crucifixion and
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 14, 2004
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              Loren Rosson III says:

              >>Those familiar with [Dale] Allison's work know the general argument: Jesus
              had braced his followers for stuff like this; they were living in the
              tribulation; suffering/death had to precede the kingdom. Crucifixion and
              demoralization would have caused the disciples to go on hoping for the
              apocalypse and resurrection of the dead. Whatever caused belief in the
              resurrection, it was doubtfully cognitive dissonance.<<

              The flip side to this kind of evidence is that these assertions may be
              defensive reactions to discomfiture. When circumstances do not meet
              expectations, one popular tactic is to make expectations meet the
              circumstances. I just cannot get past the feeling that the NT Gospels are
              apologies in the guise of "biographies."

              Respectfully,

              Dave Hindley
              Cleveland, Ohio, USA
            • Tony Buglass
              David Hindley wrote: The flip side to this kind of evidence is that these assertions may be defensive reactions to discomfiture. When circumstances do not meet
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 15, 2004
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                David Hindley wrote:
                The flip side to this kind of evidence is that these assertions may be
                defensive reactions to discomfiture. When circumstances do not meet
                expectations, one popular tactic is to make expectations meet the
                circumstances. I just cannot get past the feeling that the NT Gospels are
                apologies in the guise of "biographies."

                Well, yes, but with what aim? To reduce dissonance, to argue that the guy isn't really dead after all? Why would they argue for that particular resolution of dissonance, when there were easier possibilities, like noble martyred prophet? It's all a bit too much like the Irish guy telling the tourists, "If I was going there, I wouldn't start from here." If I was a 1st C follower of Jesus the rabbi, looking at his end and disposal (whether you go with a garden tomb, Crossan's rubbish heap, or whatever), I would be more likely to build on Maccabean martyr tradition than such a revolutionary idea as resurrection of the individual before the general resurrection at the end.

                Yes, I know, that is the debate which is at the heart of thousands of pages by Crossan, Wright, Luedemann, and company, and which we've discussed at length on this list, and will probably do so again - especially when Dale Allison's new book comes out. My point here is not so much to open up the details of that debate, but to ask whether CD theory really gives the most likely explanation for what happened. They *didn't* make expectations fit the circumstances, because nobody expected those particular expectations.

                Cheers,
                Rev Tony Buglass
                Superintendent Minister
                Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
                W Yorkshire



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Loren Rosson
                ... The point is that circumstances **did** meet expectations. It s wrong to view the crucifixion as a cause of dissonance, because the disciples would have
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 15, 2004
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                  I had written:

                  >>Those familiar with [Dale] Allison's work know
                  >>the general argument: Jesus had braced his
                  >>followers for stuff like this; they were living
                  >>in the tribulation; suffering/death had to
                  >>precede the kingdom. Crucifixion and
                  >>demoralization would have caused the disciples
                  >>to go on hoping for the apocalypse and resurrection
                  >>of the dead. Whatever caused belief in the
                  >>resurrection, it was doubtfully
                  >>cognitive dissonance.

                  Dave responded:

                  >The flip side to this kind of evidence is that these
                  >assertions may be defensive reactions to
                  >discomfiture. When circumstances do not meet
                  >expectations, one popular tactic is to make
                  >expectations meet the circumstances.

                  The point is that circumstances **did** meet
                  expectations. It's wrong to view the crucifixion as a
                  cause of dissonance, because the disciples would have
                  most likely (following social psychologists)
                  interpreted Jesus' execution as part of the end-time
                  drama they were already enacting.

                  Wright is too dismissive of Festinger for my (and
                  evidently Allison's) liking; the dissonance phenomenon
                  is real and explains many instances of revised
                  expectations. It just doesn't happen to apply in this
                  case.

                  >I just cannot get past the feeling that the NT
                  >Gospels are apologies in the guise of "biographies."

                  Apology and biography often tie together, and that's
                  what the gospels are about. And don't peg Allison as
                  an apologist on this subject. Unlike Wright, he's not.
                  You'll see this when his book comes out.

                  Tony Buglass wrote (responding to Dave's comments
                  above):

                  >My point here is not so much to open up the
                  >details of that debate, but to ask whether
                  >CD theory really gives the most likely explanation
                  >for what happened. They *didn't* make
                  >expectations fit the circumstances, because
                  >nobody expected those particular expectations

                  I would say (following Allison, and to a lesser extent
                  Wright), "They didn't make expectations fit the
                  circumstances, because they aleady did." The
                  expectations involved end-time chaos, suffering,
                  martyrdom. What else is crucifixion and
                  demoralization? The way you put it actually seems to
                  invoke CD theory, which depends upon revised
                  expectations -- "expectations which nobody expected
                  before". Or am I misunderstanding you?

                  =====
                  Loren Rosson III
                  Nashua NH
                  rossoiii@...

                  "In the natural sciences a person is remembered for his best idea; in the social sciences he is remembered for his worst."



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                • Tony Buglass
                  Loren responded to my points: The expectations involved end-time chaos, suffering, martyrdom. What else is crucifixion and demoralization? The way you put it
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 15, 2004
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                    Loren responded to my points:
                    The
                    expectations involved end-time chaos, suffering,
                    martyrdom. What else is crucifixion and
                    demoralization? The way you put it actually seems to
                    invoke CD theory, which depends upon revised
                    expectations -- "expectations which nobody expected
                    before". Or am I misunderstanding you?

                    I was thinking specifically of resurrection. Tribulation and stuff was not only part of the apocalyptic heritage, but part of the experience of being an occupied territory. That supoorts my comment aout Maccabean martyr theology being a more likely starting point for an apostolic response. There were hopes for resurrection, but they weren't universally accepted, and they were generally eschatological - a general resurrection (of all? of the righteous alone?) at the end. The idea of the resurrection of an individual was new. I can see your point about appearing to invoke CD theory, but my question is simpler than that - what made the disciples choose that particular way of responding to what had happened to them? If this was a case of CD, there were easier ways of dissonance reduction, I suggest.

                    Cheers,
                    Rev Tony Buglass
                    Superintendent Minister
                    Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
                    W Yorks



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Joseph Codsi
                    Dave Hindley wrote on Sept 15: Dave, Why do you speak
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 15, 2004
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                      Dave Hindley wrote on Sept 15:

                      <<I just cannot get past the feeling that the NT Gospels are apologies
                      in the guise of "biographies.">>

                      Dave,

                      Why do you speak here of a "feeling"? I think we should speak of a fact.

                      The apologetical intention of the fourth gospel is clearly stated in its
                      first conclusion:

                      <<Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which
                      are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come
                      to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through
                      believing you may have life in his name.>> (John 20:30-31)

                      The author of GLuke does not hide his apologetical intent, when he
                      explains his purpose to his reader, Theophilus:

                      <<Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the
                      events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to
                      us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the
                      word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the
                      very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent
                      Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about
                      which you have been instructed.>> (Luke 1:1-4)

                      If all there was to it was the apologetical intent of the evangelists,
                      we would not have had such a hard time figuring out what is going on in
                      our gospels. The real problem is not the stated intention of this or
                      that evangelist. The real problem is something none of the evangelists
                      was aware of. I would sum it up in the following way: The evangelists
                      did not know that the basic tradition that was handed down to them
                      concerning Jesus consisted in a systematic transformation of the
                      historical Jesus into something and someone he was not.

                      So I would say that the evangelists are the innocent victims of the
                      faith that was handed down to them in the first place. As preposterous
                      as this might sound, the solid basis upon which the apostolic message is
                      founded seems to have been a systematic transformation of the historical
                      event under the retroactive influence of the Easter faith.

                      Now this is my personal "feeling". Perhaps it would make sense if we
                      compared our two distinct feelings.

                      It goes without saying that you were aware of the apologetical nature of
                      the two texts I have quoted. So your feeling must have gone beyond this
                      ordinary point. The difficulty is to be able to pin point what your
                      feeling is really about.

                      I suppose you will be reluctant to say that your feeling and mine are
                      exactly the same. Perhaps you would be prepared to say that our two
                      feelings might have something in common. In this case we should be able
                      to identify what they have in common.

                      I'll let you think quietly. Perhaps you will be able to tell if wee
                      should pursue this question or if you feel it would be premature to do
                      so.

                      So long,
                      Joseph

                      ================
                      Joseph Codsi
                      P.O. Box 116-2088
                      Beirut, Lebanon
                      Telephone (961) 1 423 145
                      joseph5@...
                    • David C. Hindley
                      ... the guise of biographies ]? To reduce dissonance, to argue that the guy isn t really dead after all? Why would they argue for that particular resolution
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 20, 2004
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                        Rev Tony Buglass says:

                        >>Well, yes, but with what aim [would NT Gospels be written as "apologies in
                        the guise of biographies"]? To reduce dissonance, to argue that the guy
                        isn't really dead after all? Why would they argue for that particular
                        resolution of dissonance, when there were easier possibilities, like noble
                        martyred prophet? [...] If I was a 1st C follower of Jesus the rabbi,
                        looking at his end and disposal (whether you go with a garden tomb,
                        Crossan's rubbish heap, or whatever), I would be more likely to build on
                        Maccabean martyr tradition than such a revolutionary idea as resurrection of
                        the individual before the general resurrection at the end.<<

                        Your question would likely be right IF you are correct in your unstated
                        assumptions about the kind of followers of Jesus who wrote the Gospels
                        (i.e., essentially Jews from birth). However, proselytes to Judaism or at
                        very least gentile "God-fearers," especially if they had converted or become
                        associated with the specific aim of realizing and becoming part of a just
                        messianic style kingdom, when faced with the discomfiture of the death of
                        their messianic figure *and* especially later when the Jewish rebellion
                        failed so miserably and burned all bridges that may have survived their
                        original conversions/associations, could easily be seen reforming their
                        adopted expectations by merging them with elements from one or more of the
                        mystery cults popular in the Greek cities and creating a synthesis.

                        >>[...] My point here is not so much to open up the details of that debate
                        [about prophecy historicized vs history interpreted in light of prophesy],
                        but to ask whether CD theory really gives the most likely explanation for
                        what happened. They *didn't* make expectations fit the circumstances,
                        because nobody expected those particular expectations.<<

                        You have lost me here. Which particular circumstances? The danger I see is
                        assuming that what the NT Gospel writers *say* were the expectations of
                        Jesus and his followers were their *actual* expectations. However, we have
                        other information from Josephus, Philo, Sibylline Oracles, Jewish
                        pseudepigrapha and Greek/Roman writers, etc, that allow us to make educated
                        guesses as to the kinds of people (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who might be
                        attracted to a messianic movement (and yes I am assuming that the Christian
                        movement was derived from such a movement) and speculate what kinds of
                        expectations they might have had, and offers specific cases where these
                        kinds of expectations met cold hard reality.

                        Cognitive dissonance theory, which is far from being debunked by modern
                        controlled psychological tests, offers a model under which these
                        expectations might be expected to have evolved in the face of discomfiture.
                        NT & early Christian scholarship really needs to look at realistic
                        psychological models to help explain the historical evidence, or we risk
                        bogging down in reconstructions ultimately based on what we wished it were
                        all about.

                        Respectfully,

                        Dave Hindley
                        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                      • David C. Hindley
                        ... view the crucifixion as a cause of dissonance, because the disciples would have most likely (following social psychologists) interpreted Jesus execution
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 20, 2004
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                          Loren Rosson III says:

                          >>The point is that circumstances **did** meet expectations. It's wrong to
                          view the crucifixion as a
                          cause of dissonance, because the disciples would have most likely (following
                          social psychologists)
                          interpreted Jesus' execution as part of the end-time drama they were already
                          enacting.<<

                          As I said in another post to Tony Buglass: "The danger I see is assuming
                          that what the NT Gospel writers *say* were the expectations of Jesus and his
                          followers were their *actual* expectations." Other literary evidence makes
                          the idealized portraits of early Christian development found in NT gospels,
                          Acts and other early Christian literature seem unlikely, and more
                          "realistic" scenarios abound.

                          >>Wright is too dismissive of Festinger for my (and evidently Allison's)
                          liking; the dissonance phenomenon is real and explains many instances of
                          revised expectations. It just doesn't happen to apply in this case.<<

                          Well then, what did apply? Can you find modern psychological models that
                          might predict rapid expansion of a movement's membership based on *met*
                          expectations? It may be harder than you think.

                          Usually the advance of a new idea is slow and steady (e.g. the examples of
                          the advancement of scientific ideas that certainly explained evidence better
                          than preceding theories did, in Thomas Kuhn's _The Structure of Scientific
                          Revolutions_).

                          Rapid expansions most often occur as emotional reactions to perceived
                          threats (see the large number of anecdotal examples in Charles Mackay's
                          _Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds_, 1852). To
                          perceive threats implies discomfiture has been met in some manner.

                          Respectfully,

                          Dave Hindley
                          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                          ... (e.g. the examples of the advancement of scientific ideas that certainly explained evidence better than preceding theories did, in Thomas Kuhn s _The
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 20, 2004
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                            David C. Hindley wrote:

                            >>Usually the advance of a new idea is slow and steady
                            (e.g. the examples of the advancement of scientific
                            ideas that certainly explained evidence better than
                            preceding theories did, in Thomas Kuhn's _The
                            Structure of Scientific Revolutions_).<<

                            Perhaps I've misunderstood you, but I don't quite
                            follow you on your reading of Kuhn.

                            Kuhn's point was that normal science makes slow and
                            steady advances within a paradigm as its maps out an
                            already-existing paradigm's conceptual space across
                            the empirical world.

                            A "new idea," by which I assume that you mean a new
                            "paradigm," does not make slow and steady advance.
                            Quite the opposite, it makes a sudden, radical
                            conceptual leap that restructures the thinking of
                            those who embrace it. That's why it's a revolution.

                            As for my take on Kuhn's view of scientific change --
                            well, I have my doubts about its fruitfulness as a
                            model for historians to use, but there it is.

                            Jeffery Hodges

                            =====
                            University Degrees:

                            Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
                            (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
                            M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
                            B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

                            Email Address:

                            jefferyhodges@...

                            Office Address:

                            Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            Department of English Language and Literature
                            Korea University
                            136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
                            Seoul
                            South Korea

                            Home Address:

                            Sun-Ae Hwang and Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            Seo-Dong 125-2
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                          • Loren Rosson
                            [Loren] ... [Dave] ... development ... Realistic to whom? There was nothing unrealistic about being part of an apocalyptic movement. You re too suspicious of
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 20, 2004
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                              [Loren]
                              >>The point is that circumstances **did** meet
                              >>expectations. It's wrong to view the crucifixion
                              >>as a cause of dissonance, because the disciples
                              >>would have most likely (following social
                              >>psychologists)interpreted Jesus' execution as
                              >>part of the end-time drama they were already
                              >> enacting.

                              [Dave]
                              >As I said in another post to Tony Buglass: "The
                              >danger I see is assuming that what the NT Gospel
                              >writers *say* were the expectations of Jesus and
                              >his followers were their *actual* expectations."
                              >Other literary evidence makes
                              >the idealized portraits of early Christian
                              development
                              >found in NT gospels, Acts and other early Christian
                              >literature seem unlikely, and more "realistic"
                              >scenarios abound.

                              Realistic to whom? There was nothing unrealistic about
                              being part of an apocalyptic movement. You're too
                              suspicious of too much NT testimony. Embarrassing
                              traditions like Mk 9:1 (and sanitized versions of
                              prophecies like "God will destroy the temple and
                              rebuild it in three days") are reliable enough for me.
                              Certainly the gospel writers' present idealized
                              versions of the Jesus movement. Apocalyptic movements
                              always fail and find ways of coping with the broken
                              dream. But what's the mark of failure? Death and
                              demoralization in the early stages or "no kingdom"
                              over a longer period of time? It's doubtful that
                              Jesus' crucifixion would have caused dissonance in the
                              early stages of the movement. Your comments seem to
                              imply that I have been making a strict equation
                              between the gospel writers' expectations and the
                              disciples' actual expectations, which isn't true.

                              [Loren]
                              >>Wright is too dismissive of Festinger for my
                              >>(and evidently Allison's)liking; the dissonance
                              >>phenomenon is real and explains many instances of
                              >>revised expectations. It just doesn't happen to
                              apply
                              >>in this case.

                              [Dave]
                              >Well then, what did apply?

                              Simple: visions and the empty tomb.

                              [Dave]
                              >Cognitive dissonance theory, which is far from
                              >being debunked by modern controlled psychological
                              >tests, offers a model under which these
                              >expectations might be expected to have evolved
                              >in the face of discomfiture.

                              In cases of actual dissonance I agree. I disagree, in
                              other words, with Tom Wright and Tony Buglass (and
                              perhaps even Dale Allison; it's still unclear to me
                              how his argument would proceed under the assumption
                              that dissonance was in place) who claim that there
                              were more easy ways of dealing with dissonance than
                              claiming one's messiah had been raised from the dead.
                              Fact is the NT writers were comfortable dealing with
                              dissonance in all sorts of far-fetched ways. A
                              messiah's resurrection wasn't any more wild,
                              unprecedented, or revisionist than a bodily temple
                              (instead of the Judean temple) being raised in three
                              days (Jn 2). Tony is right that most groups would have
                              looked to a martyrdom theology instead of individual
                              resurrection, but there are always wild exceptions in
                              every time and place. History actually teaches us to
                              expect the wild exceptions seeking to be distinguished
                              from the mainstream. But again, dissonance must be in
                              place for this to happen, and I doubt there was much
                              in the early Christian movement.

                              >NT & early Christian scholarship really needs to look
                              >at realistic psychological models to help explain
                              >the historical evidence, or we risk
                              >bogging down in reconstructions ultimately based on
                              >what we wished it were all about.

                              Explain who's wishing here. And leave aside Wright; we
                              all know where he's coming from.

                              =====
                              Loren Rosson III
                              Nashua NH
                              rossoiii@...

                              "In the natural sciences a person is remembered for his best idea; in the social sciences he is remembered for his worst."



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                            • Tony Buglass
                              I wrote: They *didn t* make expectations fit the circumstances, because nobody expected those particular expectations. Dave Hindley replied: You have lost me
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 20, 2004
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                                I wrote:
                                They *didn't* make expectations fit the circumstances,
                                because nobody expected those particular expectations.

                                Dave Hindley replied:
                                You have lost me here. Which particular circumstances? The danger I see is
                                assuming that what the NT Gospel writers *say* were the expectations of
                                Jesus and his followers were their *actual* expectations. However, we have
                                other information from Josephus, Philo, Sibylline Oracles, Jewish
                                pseudepigrapha and Greek/Roman writers, etc, that allow us to make educated
                                guesses as to the kinds of people (both Jewish and non-Jewish) who might be
                                attracted to a messianic movement...

                                My phrase was "particular expectations", because as far as I'm aware, nobody expected the resurrection of an individual. There were expectations of general resurrection at the end, and there were hellenistic expectations of immortality for individuals, but there doesn't appear to have been any expectations of the resurrection of an individual before the end. Therefore it cannot be argued that they made their expectations fit the circumstances.

                                As to whether the NT writers faithfully represent or conveniently reconstruct the expectations of Jesus and his immediate followers, your references to Philo, the Sibylline oracles, etc seem to me to be less appropriate to a Galiliean peasant messianism than the picture offered by the NT tradition. I still argue that they would have been more likely to go with maccabean martyr theology to account for the execution of their leader.

                                Cheers,
                                Rev Tony Buglass
                                Superintendent Minister
                                Upper Calder Methodist Circuit
                                W Yorks

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