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Re: [XTalk] Weeden vs. Bailey: > Jimmy Dunn

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... We are dealing with the transition from oral to written accounts, so I was several steps ahead of where you wanted to be. We cannot, especially at a
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 22, 2002
      At 05:43 PM 1/22/2002 -0600, you wrote:
      >Bob Schacht wrote Monday, January 21, 2002 :
      >
      >...
      > > Contrary to your bold exaggeration of Bailey, the counter-example that I
      > > have in mind is that if multiple versions of a story circulate, the haflat
      > > samar still has an opportunity to proclaim which version is correct. Thus,
      > > informal controlled oral tradition does not have to bat 1000, to use an
      > > American idiom; it only needs to bat more than 500. Published accounts that
      > > do not receive authentication by the source community would simply lose
      > > credibility unless they had sufficient support for other reasons.
      >
      >Your point is well taken. But did you mean "*published acccounts*?

      We are dealing with the transition from oral to written accounts, so I was
      several steps ahead of where you wanted to be. We cannot, especially at a
      distance, deal with oral accounts, which are ephemeral. Even in the case of
      Bailey's data, we are dealing with written accounts of oral performances.
      To reconstruct a more original sitz, I suppose that what we may be dealing
      with is second-hand oral accounts presented to the haflat samar for
      verification. I [presently] have in mind a scenario something like this
      (all names are imaginary and have no relation to Biblical persons with the
      same name):
      Peter hears George preach about Jesus-- Let's say about the raising of
      Lazarus. Afterwards, Peter asks George where he heard that story. During
      his subsequent travels, Peter has the opportunity to visit the community
      where George heard the story. Peter visits the local haflat samar, and
      asks "I heard George say that...." as he repeats his recollection of what
      George said, concluding with the question, "Is that right?" or words to
      that effect. Then the haflat samar renders its judgment about Peter's
      retelling of George's story. In this scenario, we are still completely
      within the oral tradition. We can then conceive a number of borderline
      situations, e.g. Peter reads a written account of the raising of Lazarus,
      travels to the haflat samar, and presents an oral version of the written
      account that he read but could not take with him. Or Peter hears George
      preach, and takes notes, confirms the notes with George, takes his notes to
      the haflat samar for verification. Then we get to the fully written stage,
      where, say, Peter visits Antioch, finds a document in the Bishop's office
      about the raising of Lazarus, makes his own handwritten copy, finds out
      from the Bishop where the story originated, and then takes his written
      notes to the haflat samar for verification. Of course, we also have to face
      changes in time in the haflat samar itself, as it ages and members die and
      are replaced by newcomers, so that the original witnesses dwindle in
      numbers, and their ability to remember the incident clearly starts to wane.
      So there you have my thoughts on the process I had in mind from purely
      oral to mostly written, FWIW.


      >In an oral culture, dependent upon orality for the transmission of
      >stories, there be the
      >textuality of published accounts to refer to. If there were, it would not
      >be an
      >oral culture, would it?. ...

      Crossan in BOC talks about various permutations of orality and literacy in
      cultures. Suppose a literacy rate of 2%, with written texts possessed by
      less than half a percent. Is that an oral culture or a literate one?


      > > In to your discussion
      > > with Jimmy Dunn about the 9th anecdote. This discussion is one of the most
      > > interesting because the two of you engage on a more substantive level than
      > > in most of the other cases. It is also interesting for other reasons. Your
      > > argument with Dunn here is over what is the "core" of the story. Dunn in
      > > his reply insists that the core of the story is *what happened.* You,
      > > however, are not satisfied with this core, as you try to make the case that
      > > the core *must* include not only *what happened* but *who is responsible.*
      >
      >Perhaps, my introduction of the issue of responsibility has confused the
      >point I
      >was making. All I am suggesting is that there is a likelihood in the initial
      >speech-event evoked by the experience of the tragedy, that neither God or the
      >camel entered into the immediate reflexive sharing at the moment of what each
      >person saw. That initial speech-event is now been replaced by two
      >consciously
      >formulated and interpretative accounts of what happened.

      Granted.


      >[snipped]
      >
      > > I hope this helps.
      >
      >As usual, your comments are quite helpful. Thank you for taking the time to
      >share them.
      >
      >Ted

      Thank you for your patient response.
      Bob


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