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Re: [John_Lit] Readers

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  • Joe Gagne
    I would refer you to the Pilots held at the Hanoi Hilton who put together a fairly good new testament from memory. This was tapped out in code through the
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 3, 2001
      I would refer you to the Pilots held at the Hanoi Hilton who put together a
      fairly good
      new testament from memory. This was tapped out in code through the walls with
      different people responsible for portions of the N.T. that they knew. We tend
      to think today that our generation is far ahead of previous people, but I
      believe also that are capabilities today have changed due to the way out
      society communicates.

      Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:

      > A note of skepticism about some of the claims being
      > made concerning memory in antiquity.
      >
      > There have been a lot of modern studies of memory by
      > modern psychologists and neurologists, and from what I
      > have read of their work, I would be very surprised if
      > it were common for people to remember every word
      > spoken in a lengthy discourse upon a single occasion.
      >
      > Why do I say this? Because it has been shown that most
      > of us have rather limited short-term memories -- I
      > recall (or hope that I do) reading that our short-term
      > memories can hold only 5 to 8 items of information at
      > a time. So, for an individual to remember everything,
      > he or she would have to transfer everything said by
      > the speaker into his or her long-term memory at a
      > rather rapid rate.
      >
      > Now, I realize that people in antiquity had techniques
      > for remembering, and I guess that they had rhetorical
      > devices for speaking in a way to make their words
      > memorable, but I still find unlikely that people could
      > commonly recall every word spoken in a long discourse
      > upon a single occasion.
      >
      > Has anybody tested this assumption in contemporary
      > oral cultures? I would be interested in knowing if my
      > skepticism is misdirected.
      >
      > 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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    • Horace Jeffery Hodges
      ... I think that you need to re-read what I wrote, but let me draw your attention to my central point: I would be very surprised if it were common for people
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 3, 2001
        Joe Gagne wrote:

        > I would refer you to the Pilots held at the Hanoi
        > Hilton who put together a fairly good new testament
        > from memory. This was tapped out in code through the
        > walls with different people responsible for portions
        > of the N.T. that they knew. We tend to think today
        > that our generation is far ahead of previous people,
        > but I believe also that are capabilities today have
        > changed due to the way out society communicates.

        I think that you need to re-read what I wrote, but let
        me draw your attention to my central point:

        "I would be very surprised if it were common for
        people to remember every word spoken in a lengthy
        discourse upon a single occasion."

        Now, if a single pilot had only heard the New
        Testament one time and could reconstruct it from that
        one reading, then I would be most impressed. I am not
        surprised to hear that a group of people who had
        (probably) read the New Testament several times heard
        the New Testament preached upon any number of times
        could collectively have put together a fairly good
        reconstruction from memory.

        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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      • Matson, Mark A. (Academic)
        ... While I appreciate that documents were read orally in antiquity, are we sure that the gospels were always written to be read in a church assembly? Are
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
          Ross Saunders wrote:

          > They knew that somebody would stand up in an assembly of the faithful
          > and read out some of their words to those listening.
          > The only 'reader' was the one appointed to read the text
          > aloud, and the
          > only 'listener' was those who had gathered on the Lord's Day
          > to worship
          > and be taught in their faith.

          While I appreciate that documents were read orally in antiquity, are we sure
          that the gospels were always written to be read in a church assembly? Are
          there other venues (e.g. private gatherings, synagogues, symposia, etc) that
          might have been envisaged as possible situations in which a document may
          have been read? I think this possible reconstruction of the audience of a
          text is crucial, and I am not at all sure that it is always a church
          setting, let alone a liturgical type (i.e. worship) setting.

          > The FG was written for those believers in a particular
          > community. We may
          > differ on where that community may have been. But the
          > author/s designed
          > it for that community, and knew it would be read aloud and studied
          > within that community's worship environment.

          And here is where I am really having some trouble with both the FG and other
          gospels. Why do we assume that a gospel was written to a specific
          community? Can we be that sure? Here I want to echo also what Ken Litwak
          wrote in his recent post. It is possible, is it not, that John as well as
          the other gospels were written to be distributed and read in more than one
          setting, more than one community? When I read John's statement of
          intention, in 20:30-31, it sounds more evangelistic than sectarian. What if
          we took him seriously -- does that change the way we read the FG? It seems
          we have come under the sway of those who suggest a sectarian community, a
          narrow group, a Johannane school, etc. But I am not convinced (and I would
          welcome suggestions on where the text mandates such a reading) that John was
          written only for a specific community and meant to be read within that
          community.

          > I want to make this very clear: I am not in any way denying
          > the value of
          > some of these methods of interpretation. I have found them valuable in
          > reading modern texts. The course in semiology I did as part
          > of my first
          > degree was invaluable and a real eye-opener. But as a way of
          > getting at
          > the connection between the author/s of the FG and the first
          > community of
          > listeners, I find it seriously flawed. It presupposes a culture of
          > reading and writing that did not come into being for several hundred
          > years.

          Now what I am suggesting is not a private reading, a private interpretation.
          But I do want to problematize the Johannine community or any narrow
          community orientation for the 4G, and indeed for all the gospels. Returning
          the beginning of this thread, is the implied reader of this gospel
          necessarily (a) already a Christian, (b) a sectarian Johannine christian,
          (c) such that the gospel is meant to affirm and strengthen the peculiar
          approach of that group. Can we not imagine the implied reader to be a
          broader fictional construct on the part of the writer, that is a group of
          readers who have a variety of views toward Jesus, perhaps even "Jews" who
          have questions about the nature of this Jesus and therefore might be
          implicated and examine their own beliefs in light of the totality of the
          story?

          Mark A. Matson
          Academic Dean, Milligan College
          http://www.milligan.edu/Administrative/MMatson/personal.htm


          >
        • Staley, Jeffrey
          Mark Matson wrote: Can we not imagine the implied reader to be a broader fictional construct on the part of the writer, that is a group of readers who have a
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
            Mark Matson wrote:

            Can we not imagine the implied reader to be a
            broader fictional construct on the part of the writer, that is a group of
            readers who have a variety of views toward Jesus, perhaps even "Jews" who
            have questions about the nature of this Jesus and therefore might be
            implicated and examine their own beliefs in light of the totality of the
            story?

            Jeff Staley writes: Yes, I can imagine this, especially when looking at the
            various characters one finds in FG and the multiplicity of responses to
            Jesus (e.g., the lame man, blind man, Samaritan woman, Mary and Martha).
            These characters responses to Jesus are more fully developed than most in
            Synoptics

            Jeff
          • Staley, Jeffrey
            Just a boring question from me: Is Prince French or American? In starting this thread, I referred to him as French -- based upon the following bibliographical
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
              Just a boring question from me:

              Is Prince French or American? In starting this thread,
              I referred to him as French -- based upon the
              following bibliographical entry:

              I have thought French, but I never tried to verify this.

              Jeff Staley
            • Horace Jeffery Hodges
              How many readers/hearers do we have now? 1) Narratee 2) Implied Reader/Hearer 3) Ideal Reader/Hearer 4) Actual Reader/Hearer Are there any others? I can
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
                How many readers/hearers do we have now?

                1) Narratee

                2) Implied Reader/Hearer

                3) Ideal Reader/Hearer

                4) Actual Reader/Hearer

                Are there any others? I can imagine at least one
                other. Previously, I stated that we hermeneuts are
                actual readers striving to be ideal readers, but that
                doesn't quite capture our way of reading -- if I
                understand "ideal" reader correctly. An Ideal Reader
                would follow and understand every move made by the
                writer as the writer intended it. I think that we fit
                into a different category:

                5) Critical Reader

                I suppose that there could be a Critical Hearer, too.
                Anyway, a Critical Reader would understand more than
                the writer understood -- in effect, could understand
                better. What, for example, are Freudian readings but
                an attempt to do precisely this, i.e., to understand
                the writer's meaning better than the writer did.

                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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              • Staley, Jeffrey
                Anyway, if there are phenomenological differences, then this should have implications for reader-response theory. But would it mean the deconstruction of
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
                  Anyway, if there are phenomenological differences,
                  then this should have implications for reader-response
                  theory. But would it mean the deconstruction of
                  categories like "narratee"? We can still make
                  distinctions among types of "hearers", can't we?
                  Couldn't we have:

                  Ideal Hearer

                  Implied Hearer

                  Addressee

                  Actual Hearer

                  Jeff Staley writes:

                  Jeffery, I do find SOME of these distinctions can be helpful when thinking
                  about narrative. First, however, I think the term narratee is valuable and
                  should be kept--over against the narrator. For example, in Jesus' parable
                  of the Good Samaritan, Jesus is the narrator, the lawyer is clearly the
                  narratee, not the ideal, implied, or actual hearer/reader. Typically, the
                  narratee may or may not function as the implied/ideal hearer/reader. In
                  this case, since we do not know what the lawyer's response was to the
                  Jesus-narrator's "Go and do likewise," we can't be sure how the
                  narratee-character functions from this text alone (we would have to look at
                  all lawyers in Luke-Acts to see what particular ideological point of view is
                  connected with them). Should we assume the implied/ideal hearer/reader
                  should obey Jesus' words regardless of lawyer's response? Probably yes.
                  Should we assume the addressees obeyed? Not at all. We don't have a clue
                  as to their response. Should we assume that actual hearers/readers did/do
                  obey? Depends on who you are talking about.

                  Jeff Staley
                • Staley, Jeffrey
                  How many readers/hearers do we have now? 1) Narratee 2) Implied Reader/Hearer 3) Ideal Reader/Hearer 4) Actual Reader/Hearer 5) Critical Reader/Hearer I
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
                    How many readers/hearers do we have now?

                    1) Narratee

                    2) Implied Reader/Hearer

                    3) Ideal Reader/Hearer

                    4) Actual Reader/Hearer

                    5) Critical Reader/Hearer

                    I suppose that there could be a Critical Hearer, too.
                    Anyway, a Critical Reader would understand more than
                    the writer understood -- in effect, could understand
                    better.


                    jeff Staley writes:
                    these categories are better, Jeffery. I would only want to reiterate, that
                    #1, #4, #5 can also be resistant "readers," that is, objecting, rejecting
                    and revising in response to hearing/reading. #1 and #4 can be stupid,
                    misunderstanding readers/hearers. I trust that whatever #5 means, its
                    objections, critical responses are not based upon stupidity--though this
                    could be a value judgment . . .

                    Jeff Staley
                  • Paul Anderson
                    ... Thanks, Jeff, and there are certainly many sorts of critical readers today. Any sense of how to find overlap between these types, as well as distinctives?
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
                      johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com writes:
                      >
                      >How many readers/hearers do we have now?
                      >
                      >1) Narratee
                      >
                      >2) Implied Reader/Hearer
                      >
                      >3) Ideal Reader/Hearer
                      >
                      >4) Actual Reader/Hearer
                      >
                      >5) Critical Reader/Hearer
                      >
                      >I suppose that there could be a Critical Hearer, too.
                      >Anyway, a Critical Reader would understand more than
                      >the writer understood -- in effect, could understand
                      >better.

                      Thanks, Jeff, and there are certainly many sorts of critical readers
                      today. Any sense of how to find overlap between these types, as well as
                      distinctives?

                      Paul Anderson
                    • Staley, Jeffrey
                      Thanks, Jeff, and there are certainly many sorts of critical readers today. Any sense of how to find overlap between these types, as well as distinctives?
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
                        Thanks, Jeff, and there are certainly many sorts of critical readers
                        today. Any sense of how to find overlap between these types, as well as
                        distinctives?

                        Just an additional note, Paul, when I said that "I would only want to
                        reiterate, that #1, #4, #5 can also be resistant "readers," that is,
                        objecting, rejecting and revising in response to hearing/reading" I would
                        also say that surprise, reconsideration, revising, and objecting" can also
                        be part of the "implied/ideal readers/hearers" repetoire, but that
                        ultimately, when the reading is done, "implied/ideal readers/hearers" are
                        finally "assenting readers/hearers," whereas many real audiences and
                        critical readers can finish the book and reject it; and not be transformed
                        by it in the way the narrative rhetorics "demands/invites."

                        Oh my, I really must get back to grading final exams!

                        jeff Staley


                        Jeff Staley
                      • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                        Paul, did you mean to address me (Jeffery) or Jeff (Staley)? I wrote: How many readers/hearers do we have now? 1) Narratee 2) Implied Reader/Hearer 3) Ideal
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
                          Paul, did you mean to address me (Jeffery) or Jeff
                          (Staley)?

                          I wrote:

                          How many readers/hearers do we have now?

                          1) Narratee

                          2) Implied Reader/Hearer

                          3) Ideal Reader/Hearer

                          4) Actual Reader/Hearer

                          5) Critical Reader/Hearer

                          I suppose that there could be a Critical Hearer, too.
                          Anyway, a Critical Reader would understand more than
                          the writer understood -- in effect, could understand
                          better.

                          You (Paul) asked:

                          > Thanks, Jeff, and there are certainly many sorts of
                          > critical readers today. Any sense of how to find
                          > overlap between these types, as well as
                          distinctives?

                          All of them can probably be deconstructed, but that's
                          not my goal.

                          There is certainly overlap.

                          I'd say that an actual reader could be an implied
                          reader in some cases. A private letter might have only
                          one implied reader who happens to be the actual
                          reader.

                          This actual reader might also strive to be a critical
                          reader -- striving to understand things that the
                          writer himself might not have understand.

                          An ideal reader is an idealization and so would
                          (probably) never be actualized though some critical
                          readers might strive for this status.

                          Could a narratee be any of the others? If the narrator
                          happens to be the author who happens to be addressing
                          a real person who happens to be reading the text, I
                          guess that the various permutations already mentioned
                          are possible.

                          Of course, if we want to take the deconstructionist
                          turn, all readers -- like all writers -- are
                          idealizations, ideological constructs that attempt to
                          fix the flux of uncentered and multiple subjects....

                          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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                        • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                          ... I reply: I was thinking of the Addressee as the equivalent to the Narratee in a dramatic reading of a text. But I m quite willing to stick to
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 9, 2001
                            I previously wrote:

                            > > Couldn't we have:

                            > > Ideal Hearer

                            > > Implied Hearer

                            > > Addressee

                            > > Actual Hearer

                            Jeff Staley responded:

                            > Jeffery, I do find SOME of these distinctions can be
                            > helpful when thinking about narrative. First,
                            > however, I think the term narratee is valuable and
                            > should be kept--over against the narrator.

                            I reply:

                            I was thinking of the "Addressee" as the equivalent to
                            the "Narratee" in a dramatic reading of a text. But
                            I'm quite willing to stick to "Narratee".

                            Jeffery Hodges

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

                            __________________________________________________
                            Do You Yahoo!?
                            Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
                            http://greetings.yahoo.com
                          • Horace Jeffery Hodges
                            ... I reply: I was thinking of the Addressee as the equivalent to the Narratee in a dramatic reading of a text. But I m quite willing to stick to
                            Message 13 of 17 , Dec 9, 2001
                              I previously wrote:

                              > > Couldn't we have:

                              > > Ideal Hearer

                              > > Implied Hearer

                              > > Addressee

                              > > Actual Hearer

                              Jeff Staley responded:

                              > Jeffery, I do find SOME of these distinctions can be
                              > helpful when thinking about narrative. First,
                              > however, I think the term narratee is valuable and
                              > should be kept--over against the narrator.

                              I reply:

                              I was thinking of the "Addressee" as the equivalent to
                              the "Narratee" in a dramatic reading of a text. But
                              I'm quite willing to stick to "Narratee".

                              Jeffery Hodges

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

                              __________________________________________________
                              Do You Yahoo!?
                              Send your FREE holiday greetings online!
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