Discover millions of ebooks, audiobooks, and so much more with a free trial

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective
Jesus and the Peasants
Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q
Ebook series10 titles

Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context Series

Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

()

About this series

The short story that we now know as the Gospel according to Mark was written in Greek twenty centuries ago in the context of an agrarian society that had been developing its own characteristics in the circum-Mediterranean region. Mark's account presupposes the values, institutions, and relationships of the culture in which Jesus and his first followers lived. Modern readers of the Gospels, however, especially those born and raised in the North Atlantic postindustrial societies, have other values and institutions, and relate to each other according to other cultural codes. This temporal and cultural distance between the ancient texts and their present-day readers makes necessary an exegetical effort whose purpose is to recover, as far as possible, the reading scenarios presupposed by these texts. In order to reconstruct these scenarios, exegesis has turned in recent years to the social sciences, whose models permit us to imagine and describe the situations presupposed by these ancient texts. This book aims to show how the use of these scenarios elaborated with the help of the social sciences can contribute to a more considered and respectful reading of Mark's story.
LanguageEnglish
PublisherCascade Books
Release dateDec 1, 2000
The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective
Jesus and the Peasants
Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q

Titles in the series (10)

  • Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q

    2

    Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q
    Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q

    New Testament scholarship lacks an overall interpretive framework to understand Judean identity. This lack of interpretive framework is quite acute in scholarship on the historical Jesus, where the issue of Judeanness ("Jewishness") is most strongly debated. A socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is developed, being a synthesis of (1) Sanders' notion of covenantal nomism, (2) Berger and Luckmann's theories on the sociology of knowledge, (3) Dunn's "four pillars of Second Temple Judaism" and his "new perspective" on Paul, (4) cultural or social anthropology in the form of modern ethnicity theory, and, lastly, (5) Duling's Socio-Cultural Model of Ethnicity. The proposed model is termed Covenantal Nomism. It is a pictorial representation of the Judean "symbolic universe," which as an ethnic identity, is proposed to be essentially primordialist. The model is given appropriate content by investigating what would have been typical of first-century Judean ethnic identity. It is also argued that there existed a fundamental continuity between Judea and Galilee, as Galileans were ethnic Judeans themselves and they lived on the ancestral land of Israel. Attention is lastly focused on the matter of ethnic identity in Q. The Q people were given an eschatological Judean identity based on their commitment to Jesus and the requirements of the kingdom/reign of God. [K.C. edited this down for the back cover. Leave the longer synopsis for the website.]

  • The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective

    3

    The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective
    The Life of a Galilean Shaman: Jesus of Nazareth in Anthropological-Historical Perspective

    Historical Jesus research remains trapped in the positivistic historiographical framework from which it emerged more than a hundred and fifty years ago. This is confirmed by the nested assumptions shared by the majority of researchers. These include the idea that a historical figure could not have been like the Gospel portrayals and consequently the Gospels have developed in a linear and layered fashion from the authentic kernels to the elaborated literary constructions as they are known today. The aim of historical Jesus research, therefore, is to identify the authentic material from which the historical figure as a social type underneath the overlay is constructed. Anthropological historiography offers an alternative framework for dealing with Jesus of Nazareth as a social personage fully embedded in a first-century Mediterranean worldview and the Gospels as cultural artifacts related to this figure. The shamanic complex can account for the cultural processes and dynamics related to his social personage. This cross-cultural model represents a religious pattern that refers to a family of features for describing those religious entrepreneurs who, based on regular Altered State of Consciousness experiences, perform a specific set of social functions in their communities. This model accounts for the wide spectrum of the data ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth while it offers a coherent framework for constructing the historical Jesus as a social personage embedded in his worldview. As a Galilean shamanic figure Jesus typically performed healings and exorcisms, he controlled the spirits while he also acted as prophet, teacher and mediator of divine knowledge.

  • Jesus and the Peasants

    4

    Jesus and the Peasants
    Jesus and the Peasants

    While some of the chapters focus on systemic issues, others probe the depths of individual Gospel passages. The author's keen eye for textual detail, archaeological data, comparative materials, and systemic overviews make this volume a joy for anyone interested in understanding Jesus in his own context. The volume is organized into three interrelated parts: 1) political economy and the peasant values of Jesus, 2) the Jesus traditions within peasant realities, and 3) the peasant aims of Jesus.

  • Jesus and Marginal Women: The Gospel of Matthew in Social-Scientific Perspective

    5

    Jesus and Marginal Women: The Gospel of Matthew in Social-Scientific Perspective
    Jesus and Marginal Women: The Gospel of Matthew in Social-Scientific Perspective

    The Gospel of Matthew recounts several interactions between Jesus and "marginal" women. The urban, relatively wealthy community to which Matthew writes faces issues relating to a number of internal problems including whether or how it will keep Jesus's inclusive vision to honor rural Israelite and non-Israelite outcast women in its midst. Will the Matthean community be faithful to the social vision of Jesus's unconventional kin group? Or will it give way to the crystallized gender social stratification so characteristic of Greco-Roman society as a whole? Employing social-scientific models and careful use of comparative data, Love examines structural marginality, social role marginality, ideological marginality, and cultural marginality relative to these interactions with Jesus. He also employs models of gender analysis, social stratification, healing, rites of passage, patronage, and prostitution.

  • The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet

    9

    The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet
    The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet

    Who do we meet in the stories Jesus told? In The Parables of Jesus the Galilean: Stories of a Social Prophet, a selection of the parables of Jesus is read using a social-scientific approach. The interest of the author is not the parables in their literary contexts, but rather the parables as Jesus told them in a first-century Jewish Galilean sociopolitical, religious, and economic setting. Therefore, this volume is part of the material turn in parable research and offers a reading of the parables that pays special attention to Mediterranean anthropology by stressing key first-century Mediterranean values. Where applicable, available papyri that may be relevant in understanding the parables of Jesus from a fresh perspective are used to assemble solid ancient comparanda for the practices and social realities that the parables presuppose. The picture of Jesus that emerges from these readings is that of a social prophet. The parables of Jesus, as symbols of social transformation, envisioned a transformed and alternative world. This world, for Jesus, was the kingdom of God.

  • Handbook of Biblical Social Values, Third Edition

    10

    Handbook of Biblical Social Values, Third Edition
    Handbook of Biblical Social Values, Third Edition

    Values are culturally specific. This handbook explains select biblical social values in their Mediterranean cultural contexts. Some examples of values are altruism, freedom, family-centeredness, obedience, parenting, and power. Though the English words for the values described here would be familiar to readers (e.g., altruism) the meanings of such words differ between cultures. In the Mediterranean world, for instance, altruism is a duty incumbent upon anyone who has surplus. It is interpersonal and group specific. In the West, especially in the United States, altruism is impersonal and universally oriented generosity that operates in a highly organized context. This handbook not only presents the Mediterranean meanings of these value words but also contrasts those meanings with Western ones.

  • The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation

    12

    The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation
    The Radical Jesus, the Bible, and the Great Transformation

    The Radical Jesus offers a companion to the author's previous article collection Jesus and the Peasants. Even more than in Jesus and the Peasants, these eleven chapters sharpen the focus on the political-economic meaning of Jesus then and the deeper values embodied in him that perhaps are still pertinent for now. Part One considers his activities and aims within the political economy of first-century Galilee. Part Two offers perspectives on the critical hermeneutical task of linking the values of Jesus and the Bible to a world that has undergone what Karl Polanyi called the Great Transformation. Polanyi argued suasively in his 1944 book that economy in the pre-industrial age was embedded in social relations and served necessary social purposes, while society after the Great Transformation became embedded within market capitalist economy to the detriment of social relations. This book finds in sustained critical dialog with the Radical Jesus another transforming force and a guiding light toward a more humane economy and society that will serve human need rather than selfish greed.

  • Early Christian Care for the Poor: An Alternative Subsistence Strategy under Roman Imperial Rule

    11

    Early Christian Care for the Poor: An Alternative Subsistence Strategy under Roman Imperial Rule
    Early Christian Care for the Poor: An Alternative Subsistence Strategy under Roman Imperial Rule

    Beginning with Jesus's ministry in the villages of Galilee and continuing over the course of the first three centuries as the movement expanded geographically and numerically throughout the Roman world, the Christians organized their house churches, at least in part, to provide subsistence insurance for their needy members. While the Pax Romana created conditions of relative peace and growing prosperity, the problem of poverty persisted in Rome's fundamentally agrarian economy. Modeling their economic values and practices on the traditional patterns of the rural village, the Christians created an alternative subsistence strategy in the cities of the Roman empire by emphasizing need, rather than virtue, as the main criterion for determining the recipients of their generous giving.

  • By What Authority?: Luke Gives Jesus Public Voice

    13

    By What Authority?: Luke Gives Jesus Public Voice
    By What Authority?: Luke Gives Jesus Public Voice

    Adult males did not simply stand up and speak. They needed authorization to exercise public voice. Why should anyone listen to them? In his first four chapters, Luke achieves this for Jesus, a process we access in two ways. In part 1, we examine how Luke establishes this by employing social-science models, which inform our understanding beyond what typical commentaries can achieve. We begin this by considering Luke 1-4 in terms of the social-science communications model, which exposes how God, as Sender-of-Senders, repeatedly sends Messages about Jesus, which cumulatively establish him with a public role and status, and so with public voice. Jesus' ethos can be described by considering him in terms of typical group-oriented personality and by means of rituals of status elevation and confirmation, which dramatize his worthiness to have public voice. Part 2 consists of rhetorical materials that inform us on how typical beginnings began. Ancient rhetoric also taught formal ways to construct a proper ethos, both for authors and those about whom they spoke. Finally, Luke himself needs a proper ethos to warrant our acceptance of him as a reliable narrator, which he achieves in his prologue. Jesus deserves public voice.

  • The Gospel of Mark in Context: A Social-Scientific Reading of the First Gospel

    14

    The Gospel of Mark in Context: A Social-Scientific Reading of the First Gospel
    The Gospel of Mark in Context: A Social-Scientific Reading of the First Gospel

    The short story that we now know as the Gospel according to Mark was written in Greek twenty centuries ago in the context of an agrarian society that had been developing its own characteristics in the circum-Mediterranean region. Mark's account presupposes the values, institutions, and relationships of the culture in which Jesus and his first followers lived. Modern readers of the Gospels, however, especially those born and raised in the North Atlantic postindustrial societies, have other values and institutions, and relate to each other according to other cultural codes. This temporal and cultural distance between the ancient texts and their present-day readers makes necessary an exegetical effort whose purpose is to recover, as far as possible, the reading scenarios presupposed by these texts. In order to reconstruct these scenarios, exegesis has turned in recent years to the social sciences, whose models permit us to imagine and describe the situations presupposed by these ancient texts. This book aims to show how the use of these scenarios elaborated with the help of the social sciences can contribute to a more considered and respectful reading of Mark's story.

Author

Pieter F. Craffert

Pieter F. Craffert is Professor of New Testament and Chair of the Department of New Testament at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. His other published works include Meeting the Living among the Dead, Mediating Divine Power, and Illness and Healing in the Biblical World.

Related to Matrix

Related ebooks