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Re(2): [John_Lit] Paul Anderson's "Truth and Liberation: The Function of the Joha

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  • Paul Anderson
    Thanks, Jeffery, for the comments; any coments on the contents of the essay? Paul
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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

              __________________________________________________
              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 6 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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