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6985RE: [GTh]

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  • Judy Redman
    Nov 3, 2005
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      David writes:
      > Words like "New Traditionsgeschichtliche" don't come cheap.
      > D.R.

      Hardcover books for a fairly specialist market like GThos don't come cheap,
      unfortunately. I like reading hardcover books with higher quality paper,
      rather than paperbacks with lower quality paper, but I buy my hardcovers
      secondhand whenever I can (I love Abe Books!!) and I often decided that I'll
      even buy paperbacks secondhand because the information is still the same.

      I think you're damned if you do and damned if you don't in this kind of
      field. Use words like "Traditiongeschichtliche" and you get accused of
      being elitist, obscure etc. Write something that is going to be more
      readily accessible to the non-specialist reader (like Elaine Pagels' "Beyond
      Belief") and you get dismissed as writing "theology lite".

      It's particularly difficult, as Bill suggests, if you happen to be a female
      scholar, because if you don't use the technical terms, some people are not
      above suggesting that this is because you don't understand them and that
      your level of scholarship is pretty low, just like you'd expect of a woman.
      OTOH, it is also difficult if you are an intelligent, interested 'lay
      person' ie someone who hasn't had formal university education the field but
      wants to get beyond "Isn't GThos cool and I just love being a gnostic" and
      the books you want to read are sprinkled with unexplained technical terms.
      I suspect that if more people had written theology that was accessible to
      the intelligent layperson there wouldn't be anywhere near the problem with
      Christian fundamentalism that I see today.

      I've just spent half an hour trying to work out how to translate
      "Traditionsgeschichtliche" neatly but helpfully into English (hampered by
      having my theological German dictionary at work, admittedly) and haven't
      come up with anything all that wonderful. I guess Tradition Critical, but I
      have never found the term Biblical Criticism or its variants particularly
      helpful. No matter how many times I assure myself that criticism in this
      sense means 'careful analytical study of' rather than 'articulating in
      minute detail how wrong something is', I still need to do a double take
      every time I see the term.

      I've found DeConick's other works helpful and scholarly and this table of
      contents looks as though it will come up to the same standard.


      " Let us forever remember that the sense for the sacred is as vital to us as
      the light of the sun." - Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1944

      Rev Judy Redman
      Uniting Church Chaplain
      University of New England
      Armidale 2351
      ph: +61 2 6773 3739
      fax: +61 2 6773 3749
      web: http://www.une.edu.au/campus/chaplaincy/uniting/
      email: jredman@...

      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Renfro
      > Sent: Wednesday, 2 November 2005 11:03 PM
      > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: RE: [GTh]
      > Words like "New Traditionsgeschichtliche" don't come cheap.
      > D.R.
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