Welcome to "Johannine_Literature," the refocused and now explicitly
academic discussion group on the Fourth Gospel and the Letters of John.
To help get the discussion going again, let me provide a quick summary
of what happened in the past few weeks:
On May 4, after the 5-year-old "JohnLitr" list was mostly dormant for
several months, Grzegorz P.Turkanik woke us up by asking, "Is anyone
on-line?" -- and indeed many of us still were. But after a few weeks it
became evident that some list members wanted the discussion to emphasize
explicitly religious applications for modern life, while others
preferred more detailed academic discussions. The consensus of those
who were actively posting seemed to be that the list should split, and
thus two new groups were born:
The group called "Gospel_of_John" (the one with a more
religious/spiritual focus) is about to start a year-long "On-Line Bible
Study", in addition to remaining open to any questions about any texts
from John. If you are interested, please see
In contrast, this list (called "Johannine_Literature") is now devoted to
a solidly and hopefully stimulating academic focus. For practical
matters about subscribing, protocol, archives, etc., please see
CALL FOR TOPICS:
Thus I would now invite people to propose topics, passages, and issues
that you would like to discuss on this list.
For starters, let me highlight some of the more substantial topics that
were begun, but partly interrupted a few weeks ago, in case anyone wants
to pick up on them again:
1) Calvin McCain suggested: "The seating arrangement in chapter 13,
which disciple is on the left and which one is on the right side of
Jesus?" which elicted many very interesting responses from Neil Booth
2) R. J.Siegel and others proposed: Raymond Brown's theory of the
"layered production" of John, particularly as set forth in his
"Community of the Beloved Disciple."
3) Leadley Francis, Tony Prost, and others briefly discussed John 14:
"Let not your heart be troubled...", etc.
4) Kevin Dwyer said, "How about this one: May Mary Magdalene have been a
principle, if not the principle, author of the Fourth Gospel?"
5) Kevin Quast started a short but interesting exchange on: Does John
operate with a sacrificial theory of atonement when he describes the
work of Christ to bring us eternal life?
6) Felix Just pointed out the anonymity of the "Mother of Jesus", and
many others added the anonymity of the "Beloved Disciple" and several
other important characters in the FG.
7) Nigel Hanscamp said: "My own work on the FG centres around my thesis
(in progress), on "pneuma (S/spirit) in the ministry of Jesus in the FG"
A few other smaller and related ideas were also touched upon by many
other people (sorry I can't name you all now), but since this list is
Johannine, let's stop with seven (although one of these days I'll
present my findings that 7 is an over-rated number, which is much less
important in the FG than most people assume, while 8 is much more
significant than normally noted.
So, where do we go from here? "In the beginning was the Word......"
Let us resume the discussion!
P.S. Please continue to invite your colleagues in Johannine Studies to
Felix Just, S.J. -- Asst. Prof. of Theological Studies
Loyola Marymount University -- 7900 Loyola Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045-8400 -- (310) 338-5933
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