3[HJMatMeth] Seminar Instructions
- Feb 9, 2000Dear HJM/M Seminar List Members,
Our Seminar with Dom Crossan is to begin shortly (Friday, Feb. 11th). And so it is time to let you know how the Seminar will proceed. To do this, I've set things out in a question and answer format. If there's anything I haven't covered here, or things that are still unclear, please contact me at the address listed below.
1. When may members begin to submit questions?
Seminar Members should feel free to begin sending their questions as soon as they receive this message, and anytime thereafter up until March 10th. But no questions will be forwarded to Professor Crossan until the Seminar officially begins on Friday, February 11th.
2. Where should questions be sent?
All questions should be sent to the following address:
3. What types of questions are acceptable?
Since the focus of the Seminar is the issue of how the particular materials used and the methods employed by Historical Jesus scholars bear upon the conclusions they come to in their reconstructions of the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, questions sent to the Seminar should center on this issue, at least initially.
4. Any suggestions for the initial round of questions?
Though it is not imperative that anyone do so, it might be interesting and profitable if the first round of postings focuses on such topics as: What are the most valuable materials for Historical Jesus research? How do we decide? What presuppositions are involved in such decisions?
5. How many questions may anyone submit?
As many as one likes.
6. Will all posts submitted to the Seminar be submitted to Professor Crossan?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. We have over 130 subscribers, and if even only a quarter of the Seminar membership submitted only one question per day, Professor Crossan would be overwhelmed with e-mails that, given his time constraints, he could not possibly read, let alone answer.
7. Of all posts submitted to the Seminar moderators, how many posts WILL be submitted to Professor Crossan on a daily basis?
At Professor Crossan's request (which is born more from his desire to be able to deal adequately with any question he receives than from anything else), the maximum daily number of posts that will be sent on to him for his consideration will be limited to four.
8. What determines which four of all posts submitted on a given day will be selected for submission to Professor Crossan?
The short answer is, the judgement of the Seminar's moderators, Jeffrey Gibson and Mahlon Smith.
9. What criteria will the moderators use to determine which four of a daily batch of messages get sent on to Professor Crossan?
In general, we will be selecting posts on the basis of their
b. Relevance (see above)
c. Absence of grandstanding, self-promotion, confessional statements, ad
hominem remarks, rehashing points made previously, etc.
10. What if no posts are submitted on a given day?
The moderators will then select the "best" questions from the anticipated backlog of posts to which they are privy.
11. What happens when a poster feels that Professor Crossan's answer to his/her post needs some follow up? Will this be disallowed?
No. We want discussion to continue if it is warranted. So we will be open to allowing a poster to continue a thread he/she has begun, subject to our judgement that it is worthwhile doing so.
12. What happens when members of the Seminar want to comment on, or raise questions about, or otherwise discuss another member's question to Professor Crossan (or the points raised within it)?
In the best of all possible worlds we would welcome postings of this sort being sent to the Seminar for all to see, thus having a given thread, originally set out between a Seminar member and Professor Crossan, continued on the HJM/M List. But because HJM/M is a Seminar between posters and Professor Crossan, and not a forum for continued or extended discussion by Seminar members of these exchanges, we must prohibit such intramural postings on the Seminar itself. HOWEVER, nothing prevents Seminar Members from carrying out exchanges with one another on XTalk! Indeed, XTalk is exactly the place where such exchanges SHOULD occur. And we encourage Seminar members to do so there
13. How do I subscribe to XTalk?
Follow the instructions on subscribing that you'll find at the XTalk Home Page at
14. How do I contact the HJM/M Seminar moderators?
You may contact either of us either through our personal e-mail addresses:
or by through
I'm looking forward to a very interesting Seminar. I'm sure you are as well!
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626
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