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Re: [XTalk] Re: Arabists' Challenge to Bailey's *haflat samar* Interpretation

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  • Asegal@aol.com
    Actually, I take this back. Sorry for bothering the group. As soon as I accessed the website I was able to reread the whole controversy. I made the
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 12, 2006
      Actually, I take this back. Sorry for bothering the group. As soon as I
      accessed the website I was able to reread the whole controversy. I made the
      mistake of thinking I was still signed in and that there was no history. Sorry
      for that.

      Best,

      AFSeg./

      In a message dated 9/12/2006 9:31:33 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
      Asegal@... writes:




      Do you think someone could review the bidding on this controversy. I
      have been in the hospital and was unable to see the original
      exchange. Since no one has actually repeated what the positions are,
      everything since then has been pretty much incomprehensible. What
      are the different positions on Haflat samar?

      Best,

      AFSeg./

      Alan Segal
      Barnard College

      --- In _crosstalk2@yahoogrocrossta_ (mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com) ,
      "Ken Olson" <kenolson101@ken>
      wrote:
      >
      > Jeffery,
      >
      > If what Joseph says is true, I believe this would mean that Ted
      need not show that the modern "haflat samar" is not as Bailey
      describes it, because modern models may not be projected back to the
      first century in the way Bailey attempts anyway. Whether that was
      Joseph's intended meaning or not is another thing entirely. I think
      Joseph may have missed Ted's actual argument that the "haflat samar"
      does not function as Bailey says it does in modern times, much less
      in the first century.
      >
      > Best,
      >
      > Ken
      >
      > Kenneth A. Olson
      > MA, History, University of Maryland
      > PhD Student, Religion, Duke University
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Horace Jeffery Hodges
      > To: _crosstalk2@yahoogrocrossta_ (mailto:crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com)
      > Sent: Monday, September 11, 2006 11:18 PM
      > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Arabists' Challenge to Bailey's *haflat
      samar* Interpretation
      >
      >
      > Joseph, whose post(s) are you charging with stereotyping and with
      retrojecting?
      >
      > Jeffery Hodges
      >
      > "Joseph T. Edmiston, FAICP" <edmiston@..e> wrote:
      > I'm sorry, but there seems to be a fundamental problem with
      stereotyping Wisconsin Muslims within an intellectual category that
      can be retrojected two thousand years back into history as
      representative of those hearers of the original spoken (chanted)
      gospels.
      >
      > We must realize that the 21st century cannot shed as much light
      as we would like upon the 1st.
      >
      > ------------ ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
      > Joseph T. Edmiston, FAICP, Hon. ASLA
      > edmiston@...
      > ------------ ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
      >
      > 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@ je
      >
      > Blog:
      >
      > _http://gypsyscholarhttp://gypsyschttp_
      (http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/)
      >
      > 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:
      >
      > Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
      > Sehan Apt. 102-2302
      > Sinnae-dong 795
      > Jungrang-gu
      > Seoul 131-770
      > South Korea
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >







      Alan F. Segal
      Professor of Religion
      Ingeborg Rennert Professor of Jewish Studies
      Barnard College, Columbia University
      3009 Broadway
      219 Milbank Hall
      New York City NY 10027-6598

      asegal@...
      asegal@...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Theodore Weeden
      ... Thank you, John. I hope to be able to get it finished and in publication. ... Thank you for drawing my attention to Naddaff s work and the Miquel quote
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 12, 2006
        John Poirier wrote on September 08, 2006:

        > Ted,
        >
        > I look forward to reading your finished article.

        Thank you, John. I hope to be able to get it finished and in publication.

        > Your reference to the *samar* roots of the 1001 Nights reminded me of a
        > book
        > that I read years ago: Sandra Naddaff's *Arabesque: Narrative Structure
        > and
        > the Aesthetics of Repetition in 1001 Nights* (Evanston, IL: Northwestern
        > Univ. Press, 1991). On p. 65 of that book, Naddaff writes:
        >
        > One should begin at the beginning, in this case, outsdide the text,
        > and
        > remember that the earliest version of the *1001 Nights* was an aurally
        > intended work perrformed before a live audience. André Miquel notes
        > that it was possibly told as part of the *samar*, "cette pratique
        > quasi
        > institutionnêlle de la culture arabo-musulmane classique: la
        > conversation
        > nocturne. . . . Le *samar* est d'ordinaire ce qui clôt la journée
        > active,
        > avant le repos nocturne, et l'on a toutes raisons de penser que c'est
        > de
        > ce type-là que relève le *samar* du conteur, qu'on l'imagine au milieu
        > d'un groupe restreint ou sur la place publique." The storyteller
        > nightly
        > tells his story about a woman who nightly tells her stories and who,
        > like
        > him, depends upon the approval of her audience in order to continue
        > the narrative act and, ultimately, in order to stay alive. The
        > pattern
        > persists.
        >
        > The French quotation is from André Miquel, *Ajib et Gharib: Un conte des
        > "Mille et une nuits"* (Paris, 1978) 225-26.

        Thank you for drawing my attention to Naddaff's work and the Miquel quote
        with reference to *samar*. This all is consistent with what Arabic
        authorities and Middle East people I have interviewed have shared with me
        with respect to the historical character and purpose of *haflat samar*.

        > As for how or why Bailey fudges the description of what a *samar* is, I
        > think that you're seeing an almost subconscious mechanism by which the
        > proponents of a particular theory smuggle their views into their offered
        > readings of a body of knowledge that they calculate their audience to hold
        > no expertise in.

        [snip]

        I am not prepared to say why and how Bailey arrived at a different
        interpretation of the character and purpose of a *haflat samar* than appears
        to be widely held by others. Naddaff and Miquel are yet two more examples
        of this widely held view. For all the reasons I have cited in posts
        regarding this thread, it is difficult for me to understand how oral
        societies in Southern Egypt would, per Bailey, hold such a radically
        different and extraordinarily atypical view of their *hafalat samar*,
        namely, as almost nightly meetings with the indispensable agenda of
        preserving the historical authenticity of their oral tradition about John
        Hogg, their missionary founder. Largely illiterate, it is difficult for me
        to understand how such societies would draw a connection, as Bailey does,
        between the Hebrew *shamar* ("preserve") and the Arabic *samar*, and thus
        arrived at an idiosyncratic meaning of *haflat samar* as a "party for
        preservation," per Bailey.

        > This happens all the time when preachers, with no seminary
        > education and no facility in Hebrew or Greek beyond their ability to use
        > Strong's concordance, smuggle their pet readings into the biblical
        > lexicson,
        > creating ridiculously long and theologically technical definitions of
        > Hebrew
        > and Greek words There is no doubt that they are smuggling their views
        > into
        > those words, yet I would venture that very few of them that do that sort
        > of
        > thing are at all aware of what they are doing. It's as if one side of
        > their
        > brain is fooling the other side. (Unfortunately, his sort of thing also
        > happens at the highest levels of academia--e.g., it is the most generous
        > explanation for the postliberals' revisionist history of hermeneutics.
        > All
        > one needs to do to deflate Hans Frei's claims about pre-Enlightenment
        > hermeneutics is to read the hermeneutical programs of pre-Enlightenment
        > figures.)

        What you describe can and does happen, unfortunately. Not only should we
        be cognizant and wary of such with respect to others, but we need to remain
        vigilant and self-critically honest with respect to ourselves on this issue.

        Ted Weeden
        Theodore J. Weeden, Sr,
        Fairport, NY
        Retired
        Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
        Theodore
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