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Re: [XTalk] Critique errors

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  • LAlbert
    ... From: Ted Weeden To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 7:44 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Critique errors ... Strauss s contention that
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 4, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Ted Weeden
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 7:44 PM
      Subject: Re: [XTalk] Critique errors


      Leon Albert wrote on December 28, 2001:

      > I appreciated your analysis, Ted. I wondered about the relevance of Levi
      Strauss's contention that the same myths frequently, even invariably, appear
      in a diversity of forms while displaying the same underlying structure. This
      too would seem contradictory to Bailey's fidelity of transmission thesis,
      within a broader cross-cultural context. Thus, Bailey appears to be guilty
      of a form of special pleading with respect to Christian mythology. Would you
      not agree?

      Leon, I have been away and just returned to answer my e-mail. Thank you
      for your response to my critique of Bailey's theory. With regard to Levi
      Strauss vis-a-vis Bailey's theory, I think I understand the point you are
      making. However, it would be helpful if you would elaborate further what
      you have in mind.

      Yours,

      Ted

      Ted,
      I was refering to the fact that in Levi-Strauss's structuralist approach to the analyses of myth, he not only saw similar underlying structures in myths from different cultures, he also noted that the same myth within a particular culture would occure in a diversity of forms. If this is true, it would speak against Bailey's thesis, unless Bailey is holding that his thesis only applies to the culture area with which he is dealing.

      This would also go to your criticism that Bailey fails to consult experts in orality to test his thesis. You cite Kebler and his predecessors, along with Scott, as seeing oral transmission very differently from Bailey. I suggest that Bailey's theory would also be contradicted by the observations of Levi-Strauss. Fidelity of transmission cannot be reconciled with myths occuring in a diversity of forms. Thus, insofar as Bailey's thesis is an "exceptional case" restricted to his cluster of Middle East villages, and "extrapolated" to include transmission of the Jesus tradition, it appears to be an exercise in special pleading directed toward preserving a particular religious tradition.

      Thanks,

      Leon Albert


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ted Weeden
      ... Levi ... appear ... This ... thesis, ... guilty ... you ... understand ... would ... to the analyses of myth, he not only saw similar underlying structures
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 4, 2002
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        Leon Albert wrote on December 28, 2001:

        > > I appreciated your analysis, Ted. I wondered about the relevance of
        Levi
        > Strauss's contention that the same myths frequently, even invariably,
        appear
        > in a diversity of forms while displaying the same underlying structure.
        This
        > too would seem contradictory to Bailey's fidelity of transmission
        thesis,
        > within a broader cross-cultural context. Thus, Bailey appears to be
        guilty
        > of a form of special pleading with respect to Christian mythology. Would
        you
        > not agree?

        I replied on January 3, 2002:

        >. With regard to Levi-Strauss vis-a-vis Bailey's theory, I think I
        understand
        > the point you are > making. However, it would be helpful if you
        would
        > elaborate further what you have in mind.

        Leon wrote on January 4, 2002:

        > Ted,
        > I was refering to the fact that in Levi-Strauss's structuralist approach
        to the analyses of myth, he not only saw similar underlying structures in
        myths from different cultures, he also noted that the same myth within a
        particular culture would occure in a diversity of forms. If this is true, it
        would speak against Bailey's thesis, unless Bailey is holding that his
        thesis only applies to the culture area with which he is dealing.
        >
        > This would also go to your criticism that Bailey fails to consult
        experts in orality to test his thesis. You cite Kebler and his predecessors,
        along with Scott, as seeing oral transmission very differently from Bailey.
        I suggest that Bailey's theory would also be contradicted by the
        observations of Levi-Strauss. Fidelity of transmission cannot be reconciled
        with myths occuring in a diversity of forms. Thus, insofar as Bailey's
        thesis is an "exceptional case" restricted to his cluster of Middle East
        villages, and "extrapolated" to include transmission of the Jesus tradition,
        it appears to be an exercise in special pleading directed toward preserving
        a particular religious tradition.

        Thanks, Leon, for elaborating further on your point with respect to
        Levi-Strauss vis-a-vis Bailey's theory. Bailey, of course, at least as I
        understand him, would not accept the fact that the Jesus oral tradition
        prior to the textuality of the Synoptics has any thing to do with Christian
        myth. Rather, he is confident that the oral tradition is historically
        authentic, at least at its core. Levi Strauss, as you point out, along
        with Bultmann and many others, would severly challenge Bailey's confidence,
        a la C. H. Dodd, that the Jesus oral tradition is basically reliably
        authentic. In citing Levi-Strauss, you have provided yet one more damaging
        blow to Bailey's theory.

        Ted Weeden
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