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Re: [John_Lit] Readers

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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 1 of 17 , Dec 3, 2001
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      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 2 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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        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 3 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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          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 4 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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            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 5 of 17 , Dec 4, 2001
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              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 6 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
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                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 7 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
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                  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 8 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
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                    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 9 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
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                      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 10 of 17 , Dec 7, 2001
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                        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 11 of 17 , Dec 9, 2001
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                          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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                        • 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
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                            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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