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RE: [John_Lit] RE: "Befriending the Beloved Disciple" or what are YOU reading th is fall?

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  • Staley, Jeffrey
    Thank you, Jeffrey. I have read this fine book, but as part of the panel, I am glad to have your thoughts. Unfortunately, your review does not come through.
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 19, 2002
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      Thank you, Jeffrey. I have read this fine book, but as part of the
      panel, I am glad to have your thoughts. Unfortunately, your review does
      not come through. I am told "A font contains a bad CMap/Encoding." I
      get 6 blank pages.


      Strange, Frank. You would think that when I put it into the email file all
      the MS Word formatting would disappear. If this doesn't work, let me know,
      and I'll email you the entire essay!
      Jeff

      Here it is again:
      >
      > It is also "on the table" to be discussed at the SBL in November. I
      used
      it
      > in class this past spring (undergrad class on FG), and students
      generally
      > found the book very provocative. "You mean there is more than ONE way
      to
      > read a text?" or "How can you study a book you don't believe in?"
      >
      > In an attempt to spark some conversation, I offer the following
      observations
      > on her book from a part of an essay on apocalyptic I have written
      (soon be
      > published). I have cut out all the comparisons to apocalyptic, to
      stay
      with
      > parts where I summarize Reinhartz's arguments for those of you who
      haven't
      > read her book.
      >
      > Jeff Staley
      >
      > In her recent book on the Fourth Gospel entitled Befriending the
      Beloved
      > Disciple: A Jewish Reading of the Gospel of John, Adele Reinhartz
      proposes
      a
      > thought-provoking, fourfold model for reading beyond that book's
      determinate
      > binarisms. Taking a cue from Wayne Booth's The Company We Keep: An
      Ethics
      of
      > Fiction, Reinhartz focuses on the ethical implications of what she
      terms
      > "compliant reading," "resistant reading," "sympathetic reading," and
      > "engaged reading" as she explores the Johannine metaphor of the
      Beloved
      > Disciple in four roles: the reader's mentor, opponent, colleague, and
      > "other." With each type of reading she asks two interrelated
      questions: 1)
      > What kind of "friend" is the Beloved Disciple to the different types
      of
      > readings-i.e. does the "implied author" "encourage" compliant,
      resistant,
      > sympathetic, or engaged readings of "his" text? and 2) What kind of
      reader
      > do we become when we read the text in these various modes?
      Reinhartz's
      > choice of metaphor opens up the reader's imagination to multiple
      active
      > reading strategies and challenges the normal understanding of what
      counts
      as
      > a "faithful," "friendly" reading of the Bible-where the faithful
      reader is
      > the one who "submits" to the determinate, ideological perspective of
      the
      > text without a critical engagement of its ethos or its literary
      > indeterminacies.
      > Reinhartz defines a "compliant reading" as one where readers accept
      > the implied author's "gift in the terms in which he offers it. . . .
      They
      > comply with the directions that the implied author describes."
      > Reinhartz's resistant reading is the mirror image of a compliant
      > reading. She argues that it "entails the effort systematically to
      read
      from
      > the point of view of the Other as defined by the text or genre under
      > discussion." From Reinhartz's perspective, the problem with resistant
      > readings is that they "cannot overcome or bypass the rhetoric of
      binary
      > opposition [in FG]but rather reproduce them in reverse."
      > The final pairing of readings are the most interesting and
      > challenging for contemporary Christians. Reinhartz defines a
      sympathetic
      > reading as one in which the implied author is a "colleague, . . . a
      peer
      who
      > struggles with similar issues in similar ways [as I do]," but without
      being
      > engaged "over the issues that divide us." An engaged reading, on the
      other
      > hand, is one that "attempts to engage seriously and directly with the
      > fundamental content of the Beloved Disciple's gift as well as with
      [one's]
      .
      > . . own inability, or if you like, unwillingness, to accept it." An
      > engaged reading entails, in Reinhartz's words, "fac[ing] the challenge
      of
      > opening up [our] own understanding[s] of the world to include . . .
      [them]
      > without at the same time abdicating [our] right to judge the ethos,
      and
      the
      > ethical criteria, that . . . [they] support."
      > Adele Reinhartz's metaphor of "befriending the Beloved Disciple"
      > complicates biblical hermeneutics in an ethically responsible manner
      and
      > pushes beyond the traditional norms of reading approved by historical
      > critical methods.
      >
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