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Re: [XTalk] Critique errors

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  • Ted Weeden
    ... Levi ... appear ... This ... thesis, ... guilty ... you ... understand ... would ... to the analyses of myth, he not only saw similar underlying structures
    Message 1 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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