Orality, Memory, Performance Criticism, and Related Disciplines
Networking Event at AAR/SBL in Boston
Friday Nov 17, 2017 4:30-6:00pm
Hynes Convention Center Room: 310 (Third Level).
Edited by F Scott Spencer
SBL Press, 2017
This ground-breaking collection of essays explores the rich array of emotions in biblical literature displayed by divine and human figures. How do biblical characters' "feelings" affect their relationship with God, one another, and the world? How do they mix together, for good or ill, for flourishing or vexation? Deeply engaged with both ancient and modern contexts, including the burgeoning interdisciplinary study of emotion in the humanities and sciences, an international team of Hebrew Bible and New Testament scholars offers incisive case studies of "passions" ranging from joy, happiness, and trust to grief, hate, and disgust.
Performances of Ancient Jewish Letters: From Elephantine to MMT
by Marvin Lloyd Miller
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015
A critical review in RBL (10/2017) by Jason M. Silverman will be helpful for anyone working with Performance Criticism. Silverman concludes:
All this said, perhaps the cited scholarship and theories will prove useful starting points for others also interested in the possibilities of performance criticism and media studies for Second Temple Judaism. At the very least, the concluding line of the work can be strongly affirmed: “Performance criticism is an underutilized method of analyzing texts, but offers a rich contribution to literary studies by considering the interplay of the written and oral worlds” (274).
By Jonathan G. Kline
This book focuses on the way the biblical writers used allusive soundplay to construct theological discourse, that is, in service of their efforts to describe the nature of God and God's relationship to humanity. By showing that a variety of biblical books contain examples of allusive soundplay employed for this purpose, Kline demonstrates that this literary device played an important role in the growth of the biblical text as a whole and in the development of ancient Israelite and early Jewish theological traditions.
From the conclusion:
"That the biblical writers could produce significant exegetical payoff by changing or rearranging the sounds of even a single word from the textual tradition they inherited indicates that they considered that tradition--even in its tiniest details--to contain (sometimes multiple) developing meanings and to be significant not only for the past but also, and perhaps especially, for the present and the future." (p. 123)
by Margaret M. Mitchell
Forthcoming Nov 2017 from Mohr-Siebeck
The essays by Margaret M. Mitchell collected in this volume were published over a roughly twenty-five year span of time, and range in scope from the treatment of a two-word phrase (περὶ δέ, “now concerning,” in 1 Corinthians and 1 Thessalonians) to the role of “the written record” in the formation, diffusion, and ultimate success of the Gentile Christ-believing mission in the first three centuries. At the heart of these studies are two main claims: an insistence that it was by no means predictable that textuality would be a crucial medium of the Christ-believing apocalyptic missionary movements, and the contention that in a significant way it was the influence of the self-styled “apostolic envoy,” Paul, that made it so. This extends from the flexible poetics of his accordion-like “gospel narrative” that could be expanded and contracted to encompass and address with sophistication all kinds of issues in occasion-specific written texts, to the theological grounding of that gospel proclamation κατὰ τὰς γραφάς (“according to the scriptures,” 1 Cor 15:3–4), to the religious logic of “envoyage” and “epiphany” that animated his self-understanding of mediated presence of Jesus Christ crucified, to the powerful poetics of epistolary literature that enabled the absent Paul to speak from a distance and so even the dead Paul to continue to speak to generation after generation in a trans-local and trans-temporal religious community formed in relation to these texts, their claims, and their ritual embodiments. The story of the development of an early Christian literary culture is not ancillary to a proper study of the “rise of Christianity” but is a key to it, the isolation of a major strand of its DNA and its processes for replication across time and space.