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

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  • 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 1 of 24 , May 6, 2001
      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 2 of 24 , May 6, 2001
        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 3 of 24 , May 7, 2001
          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 4 of 24 , May 8, 2001
            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 5 of 24 , May 8, 2001
              >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 6 of 24 , May 8, 2001
                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

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Yahoo! Auctions - buy the things you want at great prices
                http://auctions.yahoo.com/
              • 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 7 of 24 , May 9, 2001
                  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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