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Re: [John_Lit] Paul Anderson's "Truth and Liberation: The Function of the Johanni

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  • Paul Anderson
    Thanks, Jeffery, you are correct on the typo. On the anxiety motif, don t psychologize it too far; I am really quite at home in doing theological and
    Message 1 of 24 , Apr 30, 2001
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      Thanks, Jeffery, you are correct on the typo. On the "anxiety" motif,
      don't psychologize it too far; I am really quite at home in doing
      theological and exegetical interpretation. My use of the term roots in
      the Rogerian model I was using, where Rogers sees anxiety as a result of
      incongruity between one's perceived and experienced self. You might look
      at that part again.

      Overall, it fits into the structure of theological analysis producing
      interpretation "x", and exegetical analysis producing interpretation "y".
      On the surface, they look incongruent, and yet, as one looks at the
      existential and theological meaning of "y", it is entirely congruent with
      "x".

      Take care,

      Paul
    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      Paul, sorry to reply so late, but my whole family has been sick with colds, and I ve been staying home to ... Okay, I ll read the anxiety as a trope rather
      Message 2 of 24 , May 6, 2001
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        Paul, sorry to reply so late, but my whole family has
        been sick with colds, and I've been staying home to
        care for my son. You wrote:

        > On the "anxiety" motif,
        > don't psychologize it too far;

        Okay, I'll read the 'anxiety' as a trope rather than
        your psychological state.

        > I am really quite at
        > home in doing
        > theological and exegetical interpretation.

        On this point, I think that you might want to reword
        the following passage:

        "All of a sudden, however, I come to feel a bit of
        anxiety creeping up. My self perception as one who
        takes seriously the plain meaning of the text first
        before eisegetically reading into the text what one
        thinks it ought to mean has just been eclipsed by the
        possibility that I may have done exactly that!"

        Do you really mean "before eisegetically reading", or
        do you mean "rather than eisegetically reading"? Also,
        the ending of this sentence is ambiguous -- done
        exactly what? I think that I know what you mean, but
        it's possible for the reader to be baffled even upon a
        re-reading.

        > My use of the term roots in
        > the Rogerian model I was using, where Rogers sees
        > anxiety as a result of
        > incongruity between one's perceived and experienced
        > self. You might look
        > at that part again.

        It's been many years since I looked at Rogers. My
        second field was psychology, but I left it behind. I
        rather like Rogers, though, and I appreciate your
        making him relevant again for me.

        Actually, this part about incongruity was what led to
        my psychologizing of your remark about anxiety. I
        wonder if your paper might not lend itself too readily
        to a psychologistic reading. Have you encountered this
        with anyone other than me? If not, maybe it's just me.

        > Overall, it fits into the structure of theological
        > analysis producing
        > interpretation "x", and exegetical analysis
        > producing interpretation "y".
        > On the surface, they look incongruent, and yet, as
        > one looks at the
        > existential and theological meaning of "y", it is
        > entirely congruent with
        > "x".

        I'll think some more about this in the context of your
        paper, and get back to you if I have any questions or
        observations.

        Jeffery Hodges

        =====
        Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
        Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
        447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
        Yangsandong 411
        South Korea

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      • Paul Anderson
        Thanks, Jeffery, for the comments; any coments on the contents of the essay? Paul
        Message 3 of 24 , May 6, 2001
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          Thanks, Jeffery, for the comments; any coments on the contents of the
          essay?

          Paul
        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          ... I ve had trouble focusing for the past week, but I ll try now. First, I wonder about the divided self in your summary of how Carl Rogers sees it: anxiety
          Message 4 of 24 , May 7, 2001
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            Paul Anderson wrote:

            > Thanks, Jeffery, for the comments; any coments on
            > the contents of the
            > essay?

            I've had trouble focusing for the past week, but I'll
            try now.

            First, I wonder about the divided self in your summary
            of how Carl Rogers sees it:

            "anxiety ... is at least partially caused by the
            degree of incongruity between one�s perceived self and
            one�s experienced self."

            I recognize the helpfulness of this distinction, but
            it seems to me that there is a third element here --
            one's ideal self. I think that I have a perceived
            self, an experienced self, and an ideal self, and I
            would like to think that the Parakletos would help me
            toward being my ideal self -- indeed, even helping me
            to see what my ideal self should be.

            The therapeutic goal of congruence is a worthy one,
            but it seems to me that there has to be a telos beyond
            congruence. I think that this is the difference
            between psychology's therapeutic goal and religion's
            moral aim.

            So, this probably leaves me a bit uneasy about
            interpreting religious aims in psychological terms. I
            have a similar unease about interpreting John's Gospel
            in existentialist terms. Authenticity is -- I agree --
            a worthy personal goal, but moral language points
            further, higher, than existentialist language.

            I think that this tension between the therapeutic and
            religious worldviews characterizes your paper, but
            it's not easy to identify those points where the
            tension threatens to tear your synthesis apart.

            I can try, however. Here is a passage where you
            express the work of the Parakletos in bringing us to
            truth:

            "We are delivered from fear, from anxiety, from
            inauthenticity, from duplicity. Being opened to the
            truth sets us free inwardly because our perceived and
            experienced selves move toward greater congruity, and
            our divided selves move closer to life-producing
            wholeness."

            My intuition is that the Parakletos is doing more than
            bringing about congruity between the perceived and
            experienced selves -- it is making clear to us that
            both of these selves fall short of our ideal self.

            I pointed to John 14:26 last week -- the work of the
            Parakletos in "reminding" us of what Jesus said. What
            the Johannine Jesus said can be greatly at odds with
            both our perceived and experienced selves. For
            instance, John 13:12-17 exhorts one to the ideal of
            service. Perhaps I have a perceived self that says
            that I am a good person and an experienced self that
            confirms this -- until I discover that being "good" is
            quite different than I thought. I begin to form a
            conception of an ideal self that corresponds neither
            to my perceived self nor to my experienced self.

            Maybe this gets at my feeling of hesitancy about
            affirming your paper's analysis. I'll leave it at this
            for now and see what you (and/or others) think.

            Jeffery Hodges

            =====
            Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
            Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
            447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
            Yangsandong 411
            South Korea

            __________________________________________________
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          • Lorna Wilson
            Jeffery, This is an off-list comment and I hope you can help me... I am a member of the forum but not sure which paper or individual topics we are discussing
            Message 5 of 24 , May 8, 2001
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              Jeffery,

              This is an off-list comment and I hope you can help me...

              I am a member of the forum but not sure which paper or individual topics we
              are discussing right now.

              I know a couple of weeks ago we were going to have "free discussion" for a
              while until we went back to the papers.

              Can you let me know if we have started reviewing papers again and if so what
              is the website address to view them.

              Thanks,

              Lorna Wilson


              >From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges@...>
              >Reply-To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
              >To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: Re: Re(2): [John_Lit] Paul Anderson's "Truth and Liberation: The
              >Function of the Joha
              >Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 17:31:24 -0700 (PDT)
              >
              >Paul Anderson wrote:
              >
              > > Thanks, Jeffery, for the comments; any coments on
              > > the contents of the
              > > essay?
              >
              >I've had trouble focusing for the past week, but I'll
              >try now.
              >
              >First, I wonder about the divided self in your summary
              >of how Carl Rogers sees it:
              >
              >"anxiety ... is at least partially caused by the
              >degree of incongruity between one�s perceived self and
              >one�s experienced self."
              >
              >I recognize the helpfulness of this distinction, but
              >it seems to me that there is a third element here --
              >one's ideal self. I think that I have a perceived
              >self, an experienced self, and an ideal self, and I
              >would like to think that the Parakletos would help me
              >toward being my ideal self -- indeed, even helping me
              >to see what my ideal self should be.
              >
              >The therapeutic goal of congruence is a worthy one,
              >but it seems to me that there has to be a telos beyond
              >congruence. I think that this is the difference
              >between psychology's therapeutic goal and religion's
              >moral aim.
              >
              >So, this probably leaves me a bit uneasy about
              >interpreting religious aims in psychological terms. I
              >have a similar unease about interpreting John's Gospel
              >in existentialist terms. Authenticity is -- I agree --
              >a worthy personal goal, but moral language points
              >further, higher, than existentialist language.
              >
              >I think that this tension between the therapeutic and
              >religious worldviews characterizes your paper, but
              >it's not easy to identify those points where the
              >tension threatens to tear your synthesis apart.
              >
              >I can try, however. Here is a passage where you
              >express the work of the Parakletos in bringing us to
              >truth:
              >
              >"We are delivered from fear, from anxiety, from
              >inauthenticity, from duplicity. Being opened to the
              >truth sets us free inwardly because our perceived and
              >experienced selves move toward greater congruity, and
              >our divided selves move closer to life-producing
              >wholeness."
              >
              >My intuition is that the Parakletos is doing more than
              >bringing about congruity between the perceived and
              >experienced selves -- it is making clear to us that
              >both of these selves fall short of our ideal self.
              >
              >I pointed to John 14:26 last week -- the work of the
              >Parakletos in "reminding" us of what Jesus said. What
              >the Johannine Jesus said can be greatly at odds with
              >both our perceived and experienced selves. For
              >instance, John 13:12-17 exhorts one to the ideal of
              >service. Perhaps I have a perceived self that says
              >that I am a good person and an experienced self that
              >confirms this -- until I discover that being "good" is
              >quite different than I thought. I begin to form a
              >conception of an ideal self that corresponds neither
              >to my perceived self nor to my experienced self.
              >
              >Maybe this gets at my feeling of hesitancy about
              >affirming your paper's analysis. I'll leave it at this
              >for now and see what you (and/or others) think.
              >
              >Jeffery Hodges
              >
              >=====
              >Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
              >Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
              >447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
              >Yangsandong 411
              >South Korea
              >
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            • Paul Anderson
              ... I agree, Jeffery, and yet, rather than seeing the ideal self as a third category, I would regard it (in Johannine terms) as the truth into which the
              Message 6 of 24 , May 8, 2001
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                >I think that I have a perceived
                >self, an experienced self, and an ideal self, and I
                >would like to think that the Parakletos would help me
                >toward being my ideal self -- indeed, even helping me
                >to see what my ideal self should be.

                I agree, Jeffery, and yet, rather than seeing the ideal self as a third
                category, I would regard it (in Johannine terms) as "the truth" into which
                the Spirit of Truth, the Parakletos, guides one. In that sense, "the
                truth" of Christ informs one's experienced self and one's perceived self.

                > Authenticity is -- I agree --
                >a worthy personal goal, but moral language points
                >further, higher, than existentialist language.

                Existential is different from existentialist; the later is not my
                perspective. However, when you look at Bultmann's NT Theology as well as
                his commentary on John, there is ample room for discussing Johannine
                theology in existential terms. Of course, congruity and incongruity
                relate to moral realities as well as one's aspirations and ideals, so I
                don't think I've overlooked that. The point here is to identify how it is
                that one is liberated by truth, at least inwardly, and the Rogerian
                theraputic model seems quite parallel to the convincing work of the
                Parakletos here in John 16.
                >
                >
                >What
                >the Johannine Jesus said can be greatly at odds with
                >both our perceived and experienced selves. For
                >instance, John 13:12-17 exhorts one to the ideal of
                >service. Perhaps I have a perceived self that says
                >that I am a good person and an experienced self that
                >confirms this -- until I discover that being "good" is
                >quite different than I thought. I begin to form a
                >conception of an ideal self that corresponds neither
                >to my perceived self nor to my experienced self.
                >
                Right. And here's where I connect the liberating/transforming work of the
                Parakletos with John's Christology. The saving/revealing initiative of
                God scandalizes all that is of human origin -- including religious and
                conventional understandings of what is expected, and even what is "ideal."
                Here's where the works of Martyn/Brown/Rensberger and Bultmann converge.
                The cosmos is scandalized by the truth-bearing initiative of God in that
                it must take a stand for or against the Revealer. In so doing, it too is
                convicted of the truth.

                This is more fully developed in the second part of the paper, and as I
                continue to think about it, the exegetical part indeed seems quite
                congruent with the earlier theological analysis.

                Thanks, Jeffery, for your meaningful engagement!


                Paul Anderson
                >
                >
              • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                Paul, thanks for your substantive reply. It doesn t entirely allay my concerns, but I see that you have already considered these concerns even before my
                Message 7 of 24 , May 8, 2001
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                  Paul, thanks for your substantive reply. It doesn't
                  entirely allay my concerns, but I see that you have
                  already considered these concerns even before my
                  voicing of them.

                  > The point here is to identify how it is
                  > that one is liberated by truth, at least inwardly,
                  > and the Rogerian theraputic model seems quite
                  > parallel to the convincing work of the
                  > Parakletos here in John 16.

                  Is the therapist a (the?) Paraclete? This is not meant
                  as a facetious remark. I am curious about how far your
                  use of Rogers takes you.

                  On a different point: Do you know of any critically
                  sound works that defend the construction of a Biblical
                  theology? I'm working on a little theological project
                  (maybe a big one) on the Biblical understanding of the
                  heart as the active core of the human being and of
                  remembering as doing. The project entails drawing upon
                  different Biblical passages to construct a Biblical
                  theology of remembering, but I don't want my method to
                  degenerate into a parody of prooftexting. My intuition
                  is that there is a certain kind of unity to the Bible
                  but that it's not an unproblematic unity. How does one
                  legitimately construct a Biblical theology that
                  presuppose some sort of unity despite the varied
                  voices that one finds in the text? Any suggestions?

                  Jeffery Hodges

                  =====
                  Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
                  Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
                  447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
                  Yangsandong 411
                  South Korea

                  __________________________________________________
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                • Paul Anderson
                  ... I use the modest language of a parallel with intentionality, Jeffery. I think there may be some overlap, and in the best cases I might imagine a
                  Message 8 of 24 , May 9, 2001
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                    johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
                    >Paul, thanks for your substantive reply. It doesn't
                    >entirely allay my concerns, but I see that you have
                    >already considered these concerns even before my
                    >voicing of them.
                    >
                    >> The point here is to identify how it is
                    >> that one is liberated by truth, at least inwardly,
                    >> and the Rogerian theraputic model seems quite
                    >> parallel to the convincing work of the
                    >> Parakletos here in John 16.
                    >
                    >Is the therapist a (the?) Paraclete? This is not meant
                    >as a facetious remark. I am curious about how far your
                    >use of Rogers takes you.

                    I use the modest language of a "parallel" with intentionality, Jeffery. I
                    think there may be some overlap, and in the best cases I might imagine a
                    therapist furthering the work of the Parakletos. Likewise, I believe the
                    convincing work of the Parakletos is therapeutic, although I see that work
                    as having a larger goal than personal transformation, as important as that
                    is. So, I would envision the parallel to have some overlap, but not
                    necessarily so.

                    In terms of continuity with the Johannine tradition, I envision closer
                    connections with the personal transformation that happens in the meeting
                    for worship. Across traditions and forms, the human-divine encounter
                    evokes a renewed perspective, including one's appraisal of self. The
                    Johannine theology of encounter emerges epistemologically, I believe, from
                    transformative experiences, and it likewise draws the reader into such
                    experiences.
                    >
                    >
                    > How does one
                    >legitimately construct a Biblical theology that
                    >presuppose some sort of unity despite the varied
                    >voices that one finds in the text? Any suggestions?

                    The work of the Bible and Christian Theology section of SBL, along with
                    the Lilly-funded consultation headed up by Ulrich Mauser has done some
                    good work here (the session in which my paper was presented), and standard
                    texts on biblical theology abound. The challenge, of course, is that one
                    must take seriously the "theologies" within the canonical corpus even in
                    coming out with a "biblical" perspective on any theological topic.

                    Any comments from others?

                    Paul
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