[from Professor Dunn] The dialogue continues
- (Forwarded from Professor Dunn)
Gosh, you really are fired up on this; how do you find the time to
make such an
extensive response? I fear I haven't time enough to do your response
justice. But let me take up a few points.
First, I apologise if you feel I have misrepresented your motivation
whole discussion. What I was referring to is what Bob Schacht has
effectively - the requirement which you stipulate of a rigour of
uniformity of evidence which would rule out almost any hypothesis that I
am aware of
(my own marginal note at the passages picked out by Bob comments, 'On
the basis of
such a strict criterion NO historical data could EVER give firm
facts'). In my
view such rigour also quite fails to appreciate the informal character
process envisaged by Bailey - 'informal controlled', remember.
Second, re the Hogg material. I've already indicated that Bailey
regrets a degree of overstatement, precisely in reference to the point
on which you
savaged him so thoroughly in your first paper. Bailey also indicates
that the Hogg
traditions may be more complex than either his or Rena Hogg's retelling
for. But I would have to leave any further clarification to Bailey
himself on that
In the light of your first paper I almost left out the brief
paragraph on the
point which I had put in my 'Jesus in Oral Memory' paper and the chapter
it was abstracted. It is not essential to the case being made, by any
Bailey emphasises that his hypothesis is based primarily on his own
But I've left it in, with reference footnoted to your critique, since it
an important issue in the debate sparked off by Bailey.
Third, I note you cite Crossan again. But I question the relevance
putative parallels, since they seem to be speaking (i) of individual and
casual recall, whereas Bailey is talking of community tradition, where
in direct proportion to the importance of the tradition to the
identity. Quite different 'remembering', it seems to me.
Fourth, you seem to think that all Bailey's anecdotes are all
demonstrate his 'informal controlled' thesis. I don't think that is
Bailey saw it when penning the articles. Several demonstrate different
the character of an oral society. It is YOU who requires that they
serve as proof
for the 'informal controlled' thesis, and then criticizes them for
failing to do
so. And don't forget the evidence which Bailey sums up at several
from his 'anecdotes'.
Fifth, I agree, of course, that Bailey's anecdotal data is hardly
scientific data', and made the point myself from the first. You may be
to know that a postgraduate, Travis Derico (currently at St Andrews),
hopes to do
something to fill this gap and to test Bailey's thesis more
that is still possible.
Sixth, on the 'eighth anecdote', I think you are still missing the
Dagher's retelling would only really 'work' when audiences knew the
and recognized that he had departed from it and why. To see this as
Bailey's thesis is another example of your rigorously unsympathetic
Seventh, same with the 'ninth anecdote'; I need refer you simply to
Schacht's mailing here too.
A fascinating debate, and I'm grateful to you for taking such time
over it. If you want to continue it when my book comes out (hopefully
I'll be glad to do so.
With greetings from Durham and all good wishes,
Ted Weeden wrote:
> Dear Jimmy,
> I am assuming that you have received my post-reply, "Bailey's Theory, Anecdotes
> and the Burden
> of Proof," to your response to the second part of my critique of Bailey's
> theory. If not, please kindly let me know.
> Please also note that a correction needs to be made in one of my page references
> to Bailey's _AJT_ article. Twice, at the beginning and the end of my reply, I
> quote the following from Bailey's _AJT_ artice: "The storyteller [has] a certain
> to tell the story in his own way as long as the central thrust of the story [is]
> not changed. So here [is] continuity and fexibility. Not continuity and
> change. The distinction is important. Continuity and change could mean that
> the storyteller could change 15% of the story---any 15%. . . . " Each time I
> introduce the quote by citing the page reference to the _AJT_ article as "_AJT
> _, , 42." The proper page reference is _AJT_, 44.
> Thank you.
> Best regards,