Monday, March 20, 2006

New SBL Seminar "The New Testament Mysticism Project"

Andrei Orlov has asked that I pass this on (and many thanks for the reference to Andrei):

The New Testament Mysticism Project Seminar (NTMPS) was organized under the auspices of the Society of Biblical Literature to facilitate the study of earlyJewish and Christian mystical traditions in the New Testament writings. The Seminar will progress systematically through each New Testament text. 2006 SBLsessions of the NTMPS will deal with the Gospel of Matthew. The Seminar members plan to collectively write a commentary covering mysticism in the New Testament.

April DeConick and Andrei Orlov are Co-Chairs of the Seminar. Their announcement does give rise to two debates: (1) To what extent does the NT reflect prior or contemporaneous mystic tradition, and (2) more pressing--are split infinitives really wrong? That's what we were all taught in grammar school, right? (Note the red material in the announcement.)
update--see the helpful comment; apparently there has been a Kuhnian shift in grammar since primary school!

Let's hope this seminar isn't scheduled at the same time as the regular SBL Matthew session, with this year's theme being "Reading Matthew in a Time of War." The regular Matthew session may also feature papers on "anti-Judaism, gender, global readings, poverty and wealth, reception history"; no word yet of course on the final shape of the seminar.

One prominent Matthew scholar I know recently mentioned he now avoids Matthew at SBL due to the heavy slate of narrative criticism. I suppose one could argue that there is some overkill; I'd love to see this debated at SBL 2006. I myself think there are good grounds for making narrative criticism a platform for broad study of the text; it is superior to redaction criticism in that respect--see the dead-on, if slightly pessimistic, analysis by Bockmuehl, SJT 51 (1998), 271-306, in "'To Be or Not to Be': Possible Futures of New Testament."


Blogger Michael Theophilos said...

The Chicago Manual of Style has not, since the thirteenth edition (1983), frowned on the split infinitive. The fifteenth edition now suggests, to take one example, allowing split infinitives when an intervening adverb is used for emphasis (see paragraphs 5.106 and 5.160).

10:44 AM, March 20, 2006  
Blogger J. B. Hood said...

Thanks Michael.

I thought this might be the case, as I'd heard there was some move toward overturning part of the rules for S.I. I guess it pays to have an updated version of CMS or the like!

11:23 AM, March 20, 2006  

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