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[gthomas] Reversal

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  • Paul Miller
    Mike Grondin has made some persuasive arguments for me reversing what I did a few days ago in regard to the list moderators. This I have decided to do. I only
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 28, 1999
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      Mike Grondin has made some persuasive arguments for me reversing what I did a few days ago in regard to the list moderators.
       This I have decided to do. I only hope that this shake-up of the list might lead to more open discussion of the Gospel of Thomas.
       Crosstalk which used to be one of the most interesting lists on the internet has become quite a bit less than that to put it mildly. I would like Gthomas to be an interesting lively list where different ideas are welcome as long as they fall within list guidelines and have some historical value.
       Anyway, Gthomas is one year old, plus two days, and I wish the best for it and all the listmembers.
       
      Paul Miller
    • Michael Grondin
      It saddens me that Paul Miller has decided to quit the list. Hopefully, he will return in the not too distant future to give us the benefit of his insights. He
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 28, 1999
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        It saddens me that Paul Miller has decided to quit the list. Hopefully, he
        will return in the not too distant future to give us the benefit of his
        insights. He has transferred list-owner authority to Steve Davies, but
        Steve (as well as several others) is unavailable during the holiday period,
        so we will have to wait until after the first of the year to further
        clarify the situation. In the meantime, I don't intend to reimpose
        moderated status on anyone, so we all start with a clean slate.

        This is a time for self-examination. Steve Davies once compared a forum
        such as this to a graduate student-teacher lounge, where teachers and grad
        students exchanged ideas. This is my ideal also - a place for lively and
        informed discussion between professional (i.e., academically affiliated)
        scholars and amateur scholars like myself. If the uncertainty over the last
        several days has been unfortunate, it can also have a positive side if it
        serves to direct our attention toward ways to improve the list. One of the
        questions that has been raised is whether the recent "dry spell" was the
        result of some unpleasantness that took place on the list around that time,
        or whether such dry spells arise from something in the nature of the list
        itself.

        I've done a quick survey. In the 18-day period from 12/07 thru 12/24, there
        were only 2 posts. This may be the worst dry spell we've ever had, but it's
        not the first. There was, for example, an 8-day period from 9/24 thru 10/01
        in which there were no posts. Or again, in the 14 days between and
        including 6/18 thru 6/31, there were only 2 posts. So it doesn't seem to me
        that the latest dry spell can be attributed to events which took place on
        this list around that time. Rather, I would attribute these dry spells
        partially to vacations, and partially to a lack of (a) informed regular
        contributors, and (b) subject matter.

        (a) Lack of informed regular contributors: although our membership is
        relatively large, the percentage of regular contributors is small. As I see
        it, the reason for this is that a relatively large proportion of our
        membership signs up to lurk and learn, compared to other lists. There's
        nothing wrong with this at all, except that we need a certain number of
        informed members to contribute on a fairly regular basis.

        (b) Lack of subject matter: Our concentration on a single text is in itself
        very limiting. As I recall, Steve Davies questioned early on whether such a
        narrowly focused list could survive. But in which direction should we
        broaden our focus, assuming that we even wanted to? We could go in the
        direction of NT-studies by bringing in Q, the other purported source of
        Jesus-sayings. Or we could go in the direction of gnostic-studies by
        allowing discussion of other texts in Codex II. Either of these options
        raises the question of whether GThom would remain the centerpiece of the
        discussion, or whether it would become just one among several.
        Unfortunately, there seems to be no consensus on how - or even if - to
        broaden our focus.

        Of course, one can always increase traffic by adopting an anything-goes
        policy, but nobody really wants that. Somewhere between here and there must
        be a happy medium.

        Regards,
        Mike
        p.s.- Tord raises a good question about why no one has commented on Mark
        G's paper. I must confess for my own part that I haven't made the time to
        read it yet.

        The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
        http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
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