Teaching Ruth is always interesting. Not having taught the book for several years, I had forgotten just how revealing watching a class study this little book could be. The class at CTS reminded me. I have now taught Ruth in three very different cultural contexts,
In each case it served, alongside Jonah, as an example to illustrate various elements of biblical narrative technique. In each case, for the teacher, watching the male and female students reading Ruth was illuminating. I'd need to teach Ruth with other students, or learn a lot more about Sri Lankan cultures before I can draw any conclusions from this last experience. But in both NZ and
More than any other topics I teach (with the possible exception of some sessions deliberately focused on gender issues) Ruth provokes responses from both men and women that their classmates of the other gender find either incomprehensible or frustrating. Teaching Ruth is a good way to remind oneself, of the extent to which one's culture still has significant issues to address of equality and justice between men and women in the realm of marriage and home. Ever culture does, and probably always will, given the interplay of social expectations with individual or familial understandings that such domestic contexts produce, however well or badly the issues have been "resolved" in the public sphere!PS for other reflections on teaching at CTS and later (soon) in another place see this blog.
Grab the nearest book.Back then I had a library book, I must have been blogging quietly in bed before the day started:
- Open the book to page 123.
- Find the fifth sentence.
- Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
- Dont search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do whats actually next to you.
- Tag five others with the infection.
Our motto: 'We collect strings'.Still strikes me as a great sentence, but (since I never finished the book - but got bored and dropped it) I still don't understand who or what had the motto concerned! The book was Paul Di Filippo Ribofunk if anybody read beyond p.123, do tell me what it was all about ;-)
The man shall be free from iniquity, but the woman shall bear her iniquity.Which, at least without context seems more than a little injust! However, this book is (I've just noticed with a sigh of relief.) interesting in that it also has a page 123 in the appendix:
When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak, and went on with their teaching.
They said: Here we send you money; so buy with the money burnt offerings and sin offerings and incense, and offer them on the altar of the Lord our God; and pray for the life of kingNebuchadnezzer of Babylon and for the life of his son Belshazzar, so that their days on earth may be like the days of heaven.Which, is an appaulingly long sentence! And comes in the middle of the page, so the others are as bad ;) so I have well and truly served mine!
The notion that the Bible has authority has been very significant in statements of faith and constitutions of many churches and Christian movements. Yet understandings of what textual authority might mean are inevitably different when the text is expressed in different media. Concepts of textual authority that have dominated understanding of such church documents have been drawn almost exclusively from print-dominated cultures. Yet, in addition to a historical progression from oral to written, from scroll to codex (at least in Christian circles), and from manuscript to print, the biblical text has always been variously mediated. Oral and written mediations of the text existed alongside each other since the precanonical phase. The biblical manuscript tradition remediated (Bolter's term) the text in many ways, adding spaces between the words, adding commentary around the text, illumination and other "decorations".
Contemporary remediation of the Bible is even more varied and extensive. In print medium a plethora of consumer Bibles each mediates the text in distinct ways, as each also imitates earlier mediations of the authoritative text. From early renderings of the Bible in audio tape and video film, more recently digital delivery and production of such non-written media has enabled an explosion of non-written biblical "texts".
This paper examines the "technologies of authority" (the term used in different fields by Akkermans and Schwartz, Katznelson and Zolberg, Salmón Muñiz, and Tatlock) that different mediations of the biblical text utilise. It will also explore how the concept of "aura" (Benjamin) throws light of discussion of biblical authority in an electronically dominated media culture. It then attempts to generate a framework for understanding how notions of the (biblical) text as authority interact with changes of medium.
Bolter, Jay David, and Richard Grusin. Remediation: Understanding New Media. The MIT Press, 2000.
Katznelson, Ira, and Aristide R. Zolberg. Working-Class Formation: Nineteenth-Century Patterns in Western Europe And. Princeton UniversityPress, 1986.
Salmón Muñiz, Fernando. “Technologies of Authority in the Medical Classroom in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries.” Http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/text. http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=1312778.
Tatlock, Lynne . “Authority, Prestige, and Value: Professionalization in the Musicians' Novels of Wolfgang Caspar Printz and Johann Kuhnau .” In The Construction of Textual Authority in German Literature of the Medieval and Early Modern Periods . Edited by James F. Poag and Claire Baldwin. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2001.
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