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John's Gospel and these Tragic Times

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  • Horace Jeffery Hodges
    ... People may have some hesitation to discuss such things on an academic listserve when we are still so close to the tragedy. I belong to another listserve,
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 15, 2001
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      Jeffery Staley wrote:

      > I think it will be quite sad if we johannine
      > scholars are unable to talk about the use of FG in
      > times like these. . .

      People may have some hesitation to discuss such things
      on an academic listserve when we are still so close to
      the tragedy.

      I belong to another listserve, the Society of
      Christian Philosophers listserve, where we have been
      begun to break our silence and discuss what has
      happened, but mostly, our discussion has been about
      our sadness at the terrible loss of life and our
      concern about the near future.

      Briefly put, we're not being very academic in our
      discussions.

      This Johannine listserve is specifically and
      explicitly for the scholarly discussion of the
      Johannine writings, so people might also feel
      reluctance to break the rules and speak personally --
      thus, a lot of silence...

      However, I feel a bit uncomfortable getting into this
      discussion without saying a few things first.

      I want to express my deepest feelings of sorrow to any
      on this list who may have had friends or relatives
      directly affected by the terrorist attacks.

      I don't know if I know anybody directly affected
      because I've lived out of the States for twelve years
      now (and was in and out for three years prior to
      that), and I no longer know where a lot of my old
      friends live.

      I would not be surprised to discover that I do know
      somebody directly affected. I hope not.

      Perhaps I can make this post semi-Johannine (though
      not particularly scholarly) by closing with the hope
      that the fourth evangelist was right in affirming that
      the darkness does not overcome the light -- and I
      refer not only to any actual darkness without that we
      may fear but also to the possible darkness within each
      of us.

      I hope that it hasn't been inappropriate for me to say
      these things.

      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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    • Felix Just, S.J.
      ... Thanks for this reflection on the light/darkness theme, Jeffery! And thanks to Michael for sharing how you incorporated this week s tragedies into your
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 15, 2001
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        Horace Jeffery Hodges [mailto:jefferyhodges@...] wrote:

        > Perhaps I can make this post semi-Johannine (though
        > not particularly scholarly) by closing with the hope
        > that the fourth evangelist was right in affirming that
        > the darkness does not overcome the light -- and I
        > refer not only to any actual darkness without that we
        > may fear but also to the possible darkness within each
        > of us.

        Thanks for this reflection on the light/darkness theme, Jeffery! And thanks
        to Michael for sharing how you incorporated this week's tragedies into your
        class on John!

        My own thoughts in the past few days have focused not so much on the
        Temple-destruction themes, which Jeff S. asked about, but more on John
        16:2b - "Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that
        by doing so they are offering worship to God." I mean this not as a
        criticism of Islam (if that indeed is a factor behind the tragedies), since
        it should be obvious that ALL religious traditions (incl. our own) have had
        their misguided fanatics, in the past and present alike.

        I've also reflected on passages of John's Gospel that could help us overcome
        our all-too-human desires for revenge, which we are already hearing from
        many people, lest our own hunger for justice inflict even more injustice
        upon other innocents. Could the "other sheep" of John 10:16 possibly
        include Muslims, Jews and believers of other religious traditions, not just
        other Christians? Maybe that's stretching the original text too far, and
        yet the Johannine Jesus desires the salvation of "the world" (John 3:17),
        rather than its condemnation (even when "world" refers to one's enemies in
        John).

        Most of all, I'm comforted by the assurances of Jesus' presence, love,
        indwelling, and eternal life found throughout John. I hope others can find
        comfort and strength in the same texts and themes, especially those who have
        died or are injured, and their family and friends. May the Spirit and Peace
        of Jesus truly abide with us (John 20:19-22) in the days and weeks to come.

        Felix
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Felix Just, S.J. - Dept. of Theological Studies
        Loyola Marymount University - 7900 Loyola Blvd.
        Los Angeles, CA 90045-8400 - Ph (310) 338-5933
        Homepage: http://bellarmine.lmu.edu/~fjust
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      • Paul Anderson
        ... Thanks, Jeff, I really think the Gospel of John has some great themes that need sounding these days: a peace not of this world connected to a kingdom
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 16, 2001
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          johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
          >And I think it will be quite sad if we johannine
          >scholars are unable to talk about the use of FG in times like these. . .

          Thanks, Jeff, I really think the Gospel of John has some great themes that
          need sounding these days: a peace "not of this world" connected to a
          kingdom that is "not of this world" -- being one of Truth; neither in
          Jerusalem nor "on this mountain" -- transcendent of place and form -- but
          in Spirit and in Truth is authentic worship conducted; and the
          reconstruction of the Temple can only be effected by saving work of God
          rather than anything of human origin or initiative.

          These themes challenge myths of redemptive violence within and beyond
          one's circles of influence, and while John's narrow inclusivity is prone
          to tribal and provincial uses, John's broader inclusivity deserves to
          provide an important counterbalance.

          In such a deeply troubling time as this, easy answers fall way short of
          what is needed.

          Paul Anderson
        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
          ... It appears that we aren t quite emotionally ready. We may find our voices again in time. I suggest that we organize sessions -- not only Johannine -- on
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 29, 2001
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            Jeff Staley wrote:

            > I think it will be quite sad if we johannine
            > scholars are unable to talk about the use of FG in
            > times like these. . .

            It appears that we aren't quite emotionally ready. We
            may find our voices again in time.

            I suggest that we organize sessions -- not only
            Johannine -- on the general issue of "use and abuse of
            religion" at the 2002 AAR/SBL.

            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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          • Bob MacDonald
            What usage of the FG was made in prior times of disturbance? E.g. the request from the BBC to Dorothy Sayers to write The Man Born to be King. Or perhaps the
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 29, 2001
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              What usage of the FG was made in prior times of disturbance?

              E.g. the request from the BBC to Dorothy Sayers to write The Man Born to be
              King.

              Or perhaps the creation of the canons themselves - or so Akenson claims -
              that each was created after a destruction of a temple.

              Would those who would rule demand that the stone move to their will? or
              "serve but the stone, the stone serves all."

              The work no master may subject
              save he to whom the whole is known
              Being himself the Architect
              The Craftsman and the Corner-Stone.

              Then when the greatest and the least
              Have finished all their labouring
              And sit together at the feast
              You shall behold a wonder thing:

              The Maker of the men that make
              will stoop between the cherubim
              The towel and the basin take
              And serve the servants who serve him.

              (from The Makers - dedicatory to The Man Born to be King)

              If a temple is destroyed, can we find meaning again?

              Bob


              mailto::BobMacDonald@...
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              the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
              for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
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              -----Original Message-----
              From: Horace Jeffery Hodges [mailto:jefferyhodges@...]
              Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2001 5:47 PM
              To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [John_Lit] Digest Number 323


              Jeff Staley wrote:

              > I think it will be quite sad if we johannine
              > scholars are unable to talk about the use of FG in
              > times like these. . .

              It appears that we aren't quite emotionally ready. We
              may find our voices again in time.

              I suggest that we organize sessions -- not only
              Johannine -- on the general issue of "use and abuse of
              religion" at the 2002 AAR/SBL.

              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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