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Re: Middle terms, was Re: Synoptic relations

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  • Shawn Kelley
    ... I agree that it will not do to speculate about secret motives, but I do think that there is a way to address the problem mentioned (in this case the Jesus
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 28, 1998
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      Mark Goodacre wrote:

      > But Steve is quite right that it will not do simply to speculate about "secret"
      > scholarly motivations, for how can we know how much these may or may not
      > prejudice sound academic judgements? What we need is a demonstration of the
      > untenability of the hypothesis on academic grounds.

      I agree that it will not do to speculate about secret motives, but I do think that
      there is a way to address the problem mentioned (in this case the Jesus seminar's
      preference for Q1) in a way that is rigorous and serious rather than speculative
      and accusatory. I am in the middle of a project in which tries to trace this
      question in light of the lingering effects of Heidegger on current scholarship. It
      is tricky business, but I think that it can be done carefully. I have an article
      in the most recent edition of Semeia ("Aesthetic Fascism: Heidegger, AntiSemitism
      and the Quest for Christian Origins") which tries to trace the nature of
      Heidegger's commitment to National Socialism, the specific ideological commitments
      that find their way into his text, and the ways that these commitments create
      conflicts in his argument. My argument is informed by the last decade of archival
      research on his activities, by my own extensive study of the holocaust, by the
      reconstruction of right wing intellectual culture in the Weimar Republic (by Joseph
      Herf, Mosse, and Pierre Bourdieu), by Derrida's reading of Heidegger, by a decade
      and a half of vigorous revisions of his thought, and by my own close reading of
      "Being and Time". I try to show that his ideologically commitments are visible in
      specific moments in his text.

      From there I hope to show how these same commitments find their way into the
      scholarship of biblical Heideggerians (Bultmann, his students, the New Hermeneutic,
      parable scholarship), while acknowledging that these commitments lead these various
      scholars in very different directions than they had lead Heidegger. I mention this
      because I am currently working on a chapter where I compare Fowler and Mack for
      their analysis of Mark. I am trying to show that Mack's arguments on behalf of Q,
      and that his reconstruction of Q1 and its significance for early Christianity, and
      his criticism of Mark's betrayal of Q- how all of that is rather specifically
      indebted to this long history of Heideggerian scholarship and ideology. (There is
      a certain irony in this, since he is rather proud of avoiding the myth of origins,
      despite his own indebtedness to that myth in a different form).

      I have come to conclude that there is more than rational argumentation to
      Bultmann's demythologizing program, to the category of "parable" and to the current
      explosion of Q scholarship as found in the Jesus seminar. Developing a persuasive
      critique of Q, and an equally persuasive alternative to Q, is only part of the
      trick. Tracking down the ideological and institutional underpinnings that render
      these positions coherent is also necessary.

      Shawn Kelley
      Daemen College
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