Watson’s seventh chapter, Reinterpreting in Parallel, examines the literary trajectory from Mark (and maybe before Mark) to John through Thomas and the afore-not-mentioned Gospel of Peter. Several of his conclusions are going to be rather essential in examining John’s relationship with the Synoptics, specifically Mark. This chapter is filled with example and example of the trajectory we can see develop if we remove the subjective and imposed notion of canonical and noncanonical.
By this, I call into question the Gospel of Peter. At one time, it was considered canonical, or rather, it was considered usable in the liturgical life of the Church at Rhossus. Remember, at one time, someone proto-orthodox used even Thomas.
As many of you know, I would like to propose John’s purposed dependence upon the Synoptics, specifically Mark (beginning, historical present) and Luke (the internal structure, or the so called Signs Gospel). Watson’s Figure 7.1 examines the parallel accounts of the trial narrative in Mark 15.2–18 and John 18.33–19.16. This examination is one of the most powerful examples of John’s reliance upon Mark.
Anyway, Watson concludes this chapter by saying,
It is only as the texts deemed noncanonical are taken into account that the true significance of the canonical boundary becomes clear (407).
For those interested in mimetic criticism of the Gospels — how one Gospel was preserved in the other, this is a quintessential chapter.
I am saddened, just saddened that I did not think of this first. Anyway, here is my review of Winn’s book and then… Read Matthew’s interview:
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to interact with Adam Winn concerning his book, Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material. Winn’s work has been very influential on my own thinking, as I was able to present my first SBL annual paper in the seminar, Markan Literary Sources, in which Winn co-chairs. A copy of my work, “Of Kings and Mark: A Case of Mimesis in the Second Gospel,” can be found here. I am happy to say that Winn’s influence on my own work will also be witnessed again when I co-present a paper at SBL annual entitled, “Mark’s Mountain Mimesis: Exodus 24; 34 in Mark 9.2-15.”
via New Testament Perspectives: Mark and Literary Mimesis: An Interview with Adam Winn.
I hope Logos will carry this book soon… along with mine.
Bravo, Matthew, Brave.
A statue of Cato the Younger. The Louvre Museum. He is about to kill himself while reading the Phaedo, a dialogue of Plato which details the death of Socrates. The statue was begun by Jean-Baptiste Roman (Paris, 1792 – 1835) using white Carrara marble. It was finished by François Rude (Dijon, 1784 – Paris, 1855). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
…Lucan’s Cato differs from the closest contemporary representation of the historical figure on which he is based by taking action despite his belief that the Republic has long since ceased to be…
The Historical Cato suffered something of a transformation, moving from the real life General who committed suicide rather than live in defeat to the near divine God-man of Lucan who gave his life for Roman liberty to Plutarch who has settled Cato just a bit, but still sees him as the ultimate hero.
But, I find Lucan’s representation of Cato the most breathtakingly daring. Why? Lucan, in Pharsalia, was writing with a settled representation memorialized by Seneca who was Lucan’s uncle. This representation was one the people of Rome had come to know and love as history, and in fact, must of it was at the very least historical sounding. However, suddenly Lucan writes about a man who was divine, taking the place of the gods, acting as a cosmic sacrifice. Cato’s Stoicism, a surface Stoicism at best, was idealized. Cato was idealized. Cato was mythologized and not after hundreds of years of reflection or with an intense propaganda campaign, but because of a written answer to a moral crisis. Suddenly, what Seneca and the Roman people had accepted about Cato the Younger and his involvement in the Civil War was cast aside for a myth.
Lucan wrote a new representation of Cato the Younger but in such a way as to warp the contemporary representation, using memory and myth to do so. Thus, the contemporary representation of Cato the Younger was replaced by the contemporary mythical (re)presentation of Cato by Lucan, and it was one the people accepted enough to have Plutarch write to temper it.
IF AMERICA did not exist, Russia would have to invent it. In a sense it already has: first as a dream, then as a nightmare. No other country looms so large in the Russian psyche. To Kremlin ideologists, the very concept of Russia’s sovereignty depends on being free of America’s influence.
via Russia and America: The dread of the other | The Economist.
I need to file this away for later use, but the idea of building your identity not just away from another, but in opposition to other is an old one, a real one, and one that needs to be explored in a wide range of sciences, including Biblical Studies.
Anyway, read the article. Good stuff.
Consider this a social experiment.
So the guy in the movie loves horror movies and gets sucked into one to discover he doesn’t like them nearly as much. Do you know why we love horror movies, or porn for that matter? Because it allows us to experience something that we would not normally experience. People are more apt to watch a dead boby on screen without any visral reactions, but on the other hand, if they see an autopsy performed, then they will get weirded out. We can kill on screen and participate in some pretty vile actions. Or peaceful, beautiful moments that take our emotions and use them against us. This is Aristotelian mimetic theatre.
Warning… not sure why they say red-band, but there are a few less than normative words
The many elements of mimesis are awesome!!!
The implications are that games don’t really affect real life. If a game is in a magic circle, then what we do in a game is separate from what I do at work, with my family, and in my church—separate from how I think and talk in general. There’s certainly something to this. I have no trouble distinguishing between the buccaneers I was just battling in Sid Meier’s Pirates and the people walking down my street—I don’t start swordfights in my local mall. Humans have a great capacity for imagination and are quite able to keep that separate from everyday life… in a sense.
via Between the Lines: A Conversation with Kevin Schut – Part 2 – plus a video and a giveaway.
This is going to be a really good book, I think.
Irenaeus likened the ‘Gnostic’ use of Scripture to that of someone who takes Homeric verses and rearranges them to create a new poem on a totally different theme. This passage is strong evidence that Irenaeus was classically-educated — Homer was the backbone of ancient Greek education. Furthermore, in all likelihood, Irenaeus composed this little poem about Heracles himself. (Against Heresies, bk. 1 ch. 5–9)
via Irenaeus’ Homeric Poem | Read the Fathers.
So, Irenaeus was a classically trained author but could not recognize the supposed Homeric influences in Mark (and then Luke-Acts)? Come now…
Wonder if, in fact, there are no hidden Homeric hints in the Gospels…
A similar structure enables storytellers to capture their audience faster and with hidden emotion:
Peter spectacularly illustrates this mimetic contagion. When surrounded by people hostile to Jesus, he imitates their hostility. He obeys the same mimetic force, ultimately, as Pilate and Herod. Even the thieves crucified with Jesus obey that force and feel compelled to join the crowd. And yet, I think, the Gospels do not seek to stigmatize Peter, or the thieves, or the crowd as a whole, or the Jews as a people, but to reveal the enormous power of mimetic contagion—a revelation valid for the entire chain of murders stretching from the Passion back to “the foundation of the world.” The Gospels have an immensely powerful reason for their constant reference to these murders, and it concerns two essential and yet strangely neglected words, skandalon and Satan.
via Article | First Things.
The entire article is worth your time.
Music moves us. Its kinetic power is the foundation of human behaviors as diverse as dance, romance, lullabies, and the military march. Despite its significance, the music-movement relationship is poorly understood. We present an empirical method for testing whether music and movement share a common structure that affords equivalent and universal emotional expressions. Our method uses a computer program that can generate matching examples of music and movement from a single set of features: rate, jitter (regularity of rate), direction, step size, and dissonance/visual spikiness. We applied our method in two experiments, one in the United States and another in an isolated tribal village in Cambodia. These experiments revealed three things: (i) each emotion was represented by a unique combination of features, (ii) each combination expressed the same emotion in both music and movement, and (iii) this common structure between music and movement was evident within and across cultures.
via Music and movement share a dynamic structure that supports universal expressions of emotion.
This is great… anyone have this article?