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[HJMatMeth] passion narratives

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  • Sukie Curtis
    Dear Dominic, 1. In _The Birth of Christianity_, p. 486, you summarize three points made in previous book about the Gospel of Peter roughly as follows: 1) that
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2000
      Dear Dominic,
      1. In _The Birth of Christianity_, p. 486, you summarize three points made in previous book about the Gospel of Peter roughly as follows: 1) that within the GPeter there is both a consecutive, canonically-independent narrative (called by you the Cross Gospel) and two chunks of canonically-dependent narrative material, carefully spliced into the former (but with splicings visible), 2) that the canonically-independent narrative is the earlier one and the source for the canonical passion narratives, and 3) that "that basic passion-resurrection story was not history remembered but prophecy historicized."  You also note that these points have been greeted by your colleagues with "almost universal rejection."
      I suupose I'm not exactly surprised that your points two and three have not been widely embraced (could it be that change within the scholarly community is almost as slow as change within the church, in which I spend much of my time?!), but as I have always found your arguments concerning the independent-dependent mix within Peter to be very persuasive, I continue to scratch my head at scholarly reluctance on that first point. (I am also impressed by the roughly three-fifths agreement between you and the late Raymond Brown on that first point, especially given how divergently you come down on the third.) Question:  Does there seem to be any sign of shifting of scholarly consensus on even that first point?  Is that position still a "minority within a minority" opinion?
      (From my position outside the "scholarly establishment", I wonder where the reluctance really lies...I wonder, for instance, if the so obviously mythological nature of the Peter narrative, which I can imagine no one claiming historicity for, is part of the issue for some?  Or even simply Peter's extracanonical status?)  Any comments? 
      2.  Also in _The Birth of Christianity_, chapter 26, you make your proposal that "female ritual lament wove exegetical fragments into a sequential story" (573), that lament turned exegesis into narrative.  Not too long ago there was a thread of discussion on Crosstalk about the possible origins of the passion narrative within a/the early Christian community's liturgical life as a way of accounting for the neat three-hour intervals named in the canonical narratives.  (Of course GPeter has noon to three for darkness at least.)  Into that thread I interjected a post suggesting that some scholars, namely you and Kathleen Corley, have proposed a basic liturgical context for the origin of the passion narrative, that of female ritual lament for the dead.  The response to that post was--no response!(perhaps understandable under the circumstances, since I was in essence changing the subject, but it made me wonder...)  Question:  what has been the response of your scholar-colleagues to that proposal about the role of female ritual lament in the formation of the passion-resurrection story?
      Thank you for the richness of this three-week exchange.
      Sukie Curtis
      Cumberland Foreside, Maine 
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