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Disillusioned

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  • codsijoseph
    It is not so easy to find something to say about the historical Jesus that has not been discussed and rehashed many times over. A discussion group like Xtalk
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2011
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      It is not so easy to find something to say about the historical Jesus
      that has not been discussed and rehashed many times over. A discussion
      group like Xtalk seems to have outlived its usefulness. Mighty rivers of
      the past are known to have dried up and big lakes to have disappeared.

      In his last book, Dale Allison sounds the alarm. He writes:



      This volume as a whole is testimony to my conviction that the means that
      most scholars have employed and continue to employ for constructing the
      historical Jesus are too flimsy to endure, or at least too flimsy for me
      to countenance any longer. I learned the discipline during an era when
      everyone was taught to employ the so-called criteria of authenticity. We
      were to find Jesus by, first, isolating individual units and then,
      second, running them through a gauntlet consisting of multiple
      attestations, dissimilarity, embarrassment, and so on. After many years
      of playing by the rules, however, I have gradually come to abandon them.
      I have decided that knowing the old directives has been of much less
      help than promised. I am trying something else. This hook is the result.

      Dale C. Allison Jr., Constructing Jesus – Memory, Imagination, and
      History (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan) 2010. x.



      Is trying something else less hazardous or more satisfactory? Is the
      answer to be found in a discussion of the role memory and imagination
      can play in the writing of history?

      It seems to me that Allison's dissatisfaction with the classical
      methodology gospel scholarship has adopted so far invites him to look
      for guidance in other disciplines. This widening of the horizon may be
      unavoidable. But I am afraid Allison's attempt runs the risk of
      making things more complicated and more hazardous. Interdisciplinary
      studies are now fashionable. So far, they have promised more than they
      were able to produce.

      I invite those who are interested in this topic to discuss Allison's
      book.



      Joseph Codsi

      Seattle



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