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Re: [GTh] Monograph on Marcion

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  • sarban
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 17, 2011
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      Hi Mike
       
      It seems to be an interesting monograph.
       
      The idea that Marcion's original teaching involved an 'evil' rather than a 'just' God, is paralleled in Catherine Osborne's 1987 work "Rethinking early Greek philosophy; Hippolytus of Rome and the presocratics."
      This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists.
      It should be better known.
       
      Andrew Criddle
       
      (I'm resending because my first attempt got mangled)

       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:23 AM
      Subject: [GTh] Monograph on Marcion

       

      I think that the historical figures of the first three centuries of church history, and
      especially the views of non-orthodox figures, are of some relevance to our main
      focus. In that regard, I was interested in a review in RBL of a recent monograph on
      Marcion, who was evidently in Rome around the same time as Valentinus (140-160?).
      The monograph, by Sebastian Moll, "... seeks to deconstruct Adolf von Harnack's image
      of Marcion, which has had a pervasive influence ...". The review, by Mark DelCogliano
      of the Univ. of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, is here:
       
      Mike Grondin

    • David
      Based on reading the review only, it would appear that this monograph has a glaring flaw. The review states that Moll criticizes Harnack s characterization of
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 18, 2011
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        Based on reading the review only, it would appear that this monograph has a glaring flaw. The review states that "Moll criticizes Harnack's characterization of Marcion as anachronistic and skewed by his own theological agenda and Lutheran presuppositions." However, I see no indication that Moll considers the "theological agenda" of Tertullian, Epiphanius, or anyone else used a source for Marcion. Instead "Neither indisputably reliable sources (such as Tertullian, Justin, Irenaeus, Rhodo, Hippolytus, Clement, and Epiphanius) nor indisputably unreliable sources (such as socalled Marcionite prologues to the Pauline letters and the anti-Marcionite prologues to the Gospels) are discussed;" In other words, it appears that Moll is happy to re-evaluate Harnack, but not any of the sources on which Harnack (and everyone else) relies.

        David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

        > http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/7657_8379.pdf
      • E Bruce Brooks
        DAVID (quoting the Moll review) Neither indisputably reliable sources (such as Tertullian, Justin, Irenaeus, Rhodo, Hippolytus, Clement, and Epiphanius) . .
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 18, 2011
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          DAVID (quoting the Moll review) "Neither indisputably reliable sources (such
          as Tertullian, Justin, Irenaeus, Rhodo, Hippolytus, Clement, and Epiphanius)
          . . ."

          BRUCE: I entirely agree with David's charge of wrongful asymmetry. There are
          no "indisputably reliable sources" including Marcion himself, if we had his
          book, which apparently we don't. Tertullian, himself dubiously orthodox, and
          the apoplectic Epiphanius, who can hardly speak for spitting poison, are not
          intrinsically neutral witnesses to Marcion, or anything else. They are
          theological creators (in Tertullian's case) or destroyers (in Epiphanius's).
          No opinion about an artist is less to be trusted than the opinion of another
          artist.

          In a related area, I am proposing that besides the tendentious and violently
          revisionist Acts, Paul too is a violent and tendentious source for himself,
          and needs a steely-eyed and not an open-hearted readership. Can share that
          argument if needed, but presumably it is not needed. Paul is manifestly the
          guy who would say or do anything (he more or less says this of himself, and
          here for once I think we are getting something correct and reportive) to
          advance his cause. A cause which has something to do with God, and something
          to do with Jesus, but also a lot to do with himself.
        • Mike Grondin
          BRUCE: There are no indisputably reliable sources including Marcion himself ... Sources of what? Mike G.
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 18, 2011
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            BRUCE: There are no "indisputably reliable sources" including Marcion himself ...
             
            Sources of what?
            Mike G.
          • Stephen Carlson
            I would be cautious about criticizing a book for apparent omissions based entirely on a book review. Stephen -- Stephen C. Carlson Graduate Program in Religion
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 18, 2011
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              I would be cautious about criticizing a book for apparent omissions based entirely on a book review.

              Stephen
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson
              Graduate Program in Religion
              Duke University
            • Keith Yoder
              One should not assume that David Inglis is simply reading the book review.  He can certainly speak for himself, but based on my prior personal
              Message 6 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                One should not assume that David Inglis is simply reading the book review.  He can certainly speak for himself, but based on my prior personal communication with David, I'm confident he's referencing the "online" text itself as available on Google books.  The preview on Google appears to make about 60% of the text freely available to readers, at least on my page count of the introduction and first two chapters.
                 
                Keith Yoder

                From: Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...>
                To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, 18 August 2011, 21:07
                Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Monograph on Marcion

                 
                I would be cautious about criticizing a book for apparent omissions based entirely on a book review.

                Stephen
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson
                Graduate Program in Religion
                Duke University


              • Stephen Carlson
                ... Thank you for informing the list about what is available on Google books. For my part, I had accepted the natural interpretation of David s statement:
                Message 7 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                  On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:54 AM, Keith Yoder <keith_yoder@...> wrote: 

                  One should not assume that David Inglis is simply reading the book review.  He can certainly speak for himself, but based on my prior personal communication with David, I'm confident he's referencing the "online" text itself as available on Google books.  The preview on Google appears to make about 60% of the text freely available to readers, at least on my page count of the introduction and first two chapters.

                  Thank you for informing the list about what is available on Google books.  For my part, I had accepted the natural interpretation of David's statement: "Based on reading the review only, ...".

                  Stephen
                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson
                  Graduate Program in Religion
                  Duke University
                • Mike Grondin
                  Based on an offlist correspondence with David Hindley, it may be that not all members have received all postings on this thread. David Inglis, for example,
                  Message 8 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                    Based on an offlist correspondence with David Hindley, it may be that not all
                    members have received all postings on this thread. David Inglis, for example,
                    posted two notes yesterday. In the first, he said "... based on the review only ...".
                    In the second, he said, "Having read what's available online ...", which evidently
                    refers to material from the monograph itself, since he refers to at least one page
                    number. For the record, the postings on this thread so far are as follows in order:
                     
                    8/15: my original message
                    8/17: Andrew Criddle
                    8/18: David Inglis, Bruce Brooks, myself again, Inglis again, Stephen Carlson
                    today so far: Keith Yoder, Carlson again
                     
                    If anyone hasn't received all of these messages, please let me know offlist.
                     
                    Thanks,
                    Mike Grondin
                  • David
                    Perhaps so, but I assume that by now you have seen my later post, which goes back to the source. However, it seems to me that Moll is himself doing something
                    Message 9 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                      Perhaps so, but I assume that by now you have seen my later post, which goes back to the source. However, it seems to me that Moll is himself doing something very similar to what I was doing: He comments on a 'review' (in a sense) of Marcion, without going back (as far as we can, anyway) to see what the original actually says. As Andrew Criddle comments that: "This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," then I submit that if commenting on a commentary (without reference to the source) can be "important," then commenting on a review should at least be seen as acceptable. Either we should always go back to the source (or, at least, as far as possible) in all cases, or commenting and/or drawing conclusions from some intermediate work should be considered OK in all cases.

                      David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

                      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Carlson <stemmatic@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I would be cautious about criticizing a book for apparent omissions based
                      > entirely on a book review.
                      >
                      > Stephen
                      > --
                      > Stephen C. Carlson
                      > Graduate Program in Religion
                      > Duke University
                      >
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... What would it look like, to always go back to the source ? Would that mean ignoring the work of the Jesus Seminar and The Five Gospels? Would it mean
                      Message 10 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                        At 10:53 AM 8/19/2011, David wrote:
                        Perhaps so, but I assume that by now you have seen my later post, which goes back to the source. However, it seems to me that Moll is himself doing something very similar to what I was doing: He comments on a 'review' (in a sense) of Marcion, without going back (as far as we can, anyway) to see what the original actually says. As Andrew Criddle comments that: "This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," then I submit that if commenting on a commentary (without reference to the source) can be "important," then commenting on a review should at least be seen as acceptable. Either we should always go back to the source (or, at least, as far as possible) in all cases, or commenting and/or drawing conclusions from some intermediate work should be considered OK in all cases.

                        What would it look like, to always "go back to the source"? Would that mean ignoring the work of the Jesus Seminar and The Five Gospels? Would it mean ignoring all the books on the Gospel of Thomas?

                        I'd prefer to put it this way:
                        I always prefer evidence-based exegesis to pure opinion. However, I sometimes value opinions that encourage me to look at new work on old sources, especially those that explain the reasons for their recommendation.

                        But of course, this is my "opinion," so YMMV.

                        Bob Schacht
                        Northern Arizona University
                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: GThomas On: Sources From: Bruce In reply to a comment of David Inglis, Bob Schacht asked: “What would it look like, to always go back to the source ?
                        Message 11 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                          To: GThomas

                          On: Sources

                          From: Bruce

                           

                          In reply to a comment of David Inglis, Bob Schacht asked: “What would it look like, to always "go back to the source"? Would that mean ignoring the work of the Jesus Seminar and The Five Gospels? Would it mean ignoring all the books on the Gospel of Thomas?”

                           

                          The simple answer to this is, Yes, it would. Historians have found that glancing back now and then at the thing one is talking about (or the thing the other person is talking about) is a refreshing exercise, tending to restore balance and instil relevance. Talk, as such, can easily wander from the path. People get excited about their own ideas, or involved in each other’s ideas, and such relationships take place in the present tense, far from the scene to which the ideas supposedly apply. There is much value in exchanging ideas with others, to be sure, but there is also a point at which a group becomes a mob (a point well known to the crowd control specialists). I don’t know that point exactly, but for reference meanwhile, just what is the current population of the Jesus Seminar?

                          I still like what Ranke said about the use of “histories” (later people’s conclusions and interpretations, written up consecutively and attractively) in place of the source information on which they were, perhaps, based. It runs like this: “"Ich sehe die Zeit kommen, wo wir die neuere Geschichte nicht mehr auf die Berichte, selbst nicht der gleichzeitigen Historiker, ausser insoweit ihnen eine originale Kenntnis beiwohnte, geschweige denn auf die weiter abgeleiteten Bearbeitungen zu gründen haben, sondern aus den Relationen der Augenzeugen und den echtesten, unmittelbarsten Urkunden aufbauen werden." (Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation, 1839).

                          Recommended for consideration.

                          E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                          A propos, it seems as several recent messages to this list, though doubtless welcome for Mike’s monthly count, haven’t shed much light on a rather interesting text, the Gospel of Thomas. Let me take advantage of the lull to ask a question. It is this: Whenever in the 1c or 2c we think of the Gospel of Thomas as taking shape (that is, whether in Paul’s own time or in Marcion’s), that was a time when the teaching of Paul was more or less hotly controversial. Thinking of Paul’s most passionately urged doctrines (best derived, I doubt not, from Paul himself and not from Acts), what place do they have, or what refutation do they encounter, in GThos? Given that the passionate Paulinist Marcion was thought by his contemporaries to be tending toward a nonstandard view of things, is that same nonstandard tendency visible in GThos? Or a different one?

                          The Synoptic connections of GThos have been much attended to (and thanks again to Rick for his systematic overview). What about the Pauline ones? Valantasis 14 has some suggestions (including some 1 Cor links, but these I think are real or candidate Jesus sayings). Would any Thomasically experienced person care to put it all in a paragraph?

                        • Bob Schacht
                          ... I am startled to realize that you apparently think I was arguing against going back to the source *ever*. Please note the use of the word always in the
                          Message 12 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                            At 12:46 PM 8/19/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:

                            To: GThomas
                            On: Sources
                            From: Bruce
                             
                            In reply to a comment of David Inglis, Bob Schacht asked: �What would it look like, to always "go back to the source"? Would that mean ignoring the work of the Jesus Seminar and The Five Gospels? Would it mean ignoring all the books on the Gospel of Thomas?�
                             
                            The simple answer to this is, Yes, it would. Historians have found that glancing back now and then at the thing one is talking about (or the thing the other person is talking about) is a refreshing exercise, tending to restore balance and instil relevance. ...

                            I am startled to realize that you apparently think I was arguing against going back to the source *ever*. Please note the use of the word "always" in the first sentence of my quoted statement, and what it means for the sentence as a whole. Of course I am in favor of such "refreshing exercises". But in order to avoid attempting to re-invent the wheel, especially after so much of study, it also ought to be relevant to see what other scholars and their critics have already written about your subject of interest, to avoid repeating their mistakes.

                            Bob Schacht
                            Northern Arizona University
                          • David
                            Absolutely! I didn t say to always go back to the source ONLY, as I m fully aware that seeing what others have said or written can have great value. However,
                            Message 13 of 17 , Aug 19, 2011
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                              Absolutely! I didn't say to always go back to the source ONLY, as I'm fully aware that seeing what others have said or written can have great value.

                              However, that wasn't in any case really the point I was trying to make. Instead, I was saying that that you shouldn't sometimes complain about people commenting on something based on a review or commentary (i.e. an intermediate source) in some circumstances but not others.

                              Either always allow that this can have value, or always insist on people going to the original source (or as close to it as possible) before making any comment.

                              David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

                              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <bobschacht@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > At 12:46 PM 8/19/2011, E Bruce Brooks wrote:
                              >
                              > >To: GThomas
                              > >On: Sources
                              > >From: Bruce
                              > >
                              > >In reply to a comment of David Inglis, Bob Schacht asked: "What
                              > >would it look like, to always "go back to the source"? Would that
                              > >mean ignoring the work of the Jesus Seminar and The Five Gospels?
                              > >Would it mean ignoring all the books on the Gospel of Thomas?"
                              > >
                              > >The simple answer to this is, Yes, it would. Historians have found
                              > >that glancing back now and then at the thing one is talking about
                              > >(or the thing the other person is talking about) is a refreshing
                              > >exercise, tending to restore balance and instil relevance. ...
                              >
                              > I am startled to realize that you apparently think I was arguing
                              > against going back to the source *ever*. Please note the use of the
                              > word "always" in the first sentence of my quoted statement, and what
                              > it means for the sentence as a whole. Of course I am in favor of such
                              > "refreshing exercises". But in order to avoid attempting to re-invent
                              > the wheel, especially after so much of study, it also ought to be
                              > relevant to see what other scholars and their critics have already
                              > written about your subject of interest, to avoid repeating their mistakes.
                              >
                              > Bob Schacht
                              > Northern Arizona University
                              >
                            • andrewcriddle
                              ... ... As Andrew Criddle comments that: This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical
                              Message 14 of 17 , Aug 20, 2011
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                                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "David" <davidinglis2@...> wrote:
                                >
                                <SNIP>
                                >
                                As Andrew Criddle comments that: "This is an important work both in
                                its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," then I submit
                                that if commenting on a commentary (without reference to the
                                source) can be "important," then commenting on a review should at
                                least be seen as acceptable.
                                >
                                <SNIP>
                                >
                                > David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
                                >


                                Hi David

                                Just to clarify:

                                When I said "This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," I was referring to Catherine Osborne's work "Rethinking early Greek philosophy; Hippolytus of Rome and the presocratics."

                                I can't comment on Moll's methodology not having read the book.

                                Andrew Criddle
                              • David
                                Apologies for the misunderstanding over which work you were referring to. David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
                                Message 15 of 17 , Aug 22, 2011
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                                  Apologies for the misunderstanding over which work you were referring to.

                                  David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA

                                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "andrewcriddle" <sarban@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "David" <davidinglis2@> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > <SNIP>
                                  > >
                                  > As Andrew Criddle comments that: "This is an important work both in
                                  > its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," then I submit
                                  > that if commenting on a commentary (without reference to the
                                  > source) can be "important," then commenting on a review should at
                                  > least be seen as acceptable.
                                  > >
                                  > <SNIP>
                                  > >
                                  > > David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hi David
                                  >
                                  > Just to clarify:
                                  >
                                  > When I said "This is an important work both in its specific conclusions and in developing a methodology of making critical use of information in the heresiologists," I was referring to Catherine Osborne's work "Rethinking early Greek philosophy; Hippolytus of Rome and the presocratics."
                                  >
                                  > I can't comment on Moll's methodology not having read the book.
                                  >
                                  > Andrew Criddle
                                  >
                                • Mike Grondin
                                  ... Thanks, David. Far from being considered unnecessary, such corrections are encouraged here, and are considered a mark of honesty, integrity, collegiality,
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Aug 22, 2011
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                                    [David to Andrew Criddle]:
                                    > Apologies for the misunderstanding over which work you were referring
                                    to.
                                     
                                    Thanks, David. Far from being considered unnecessary, such corrections are
                                    encouraged here, and are considered a mark of honesty, integrity, collegiality,
                                    and commendably ethical scholarly behavior.
                                     
                                    Mike Grondin
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