Archiv für den Monat: April 2017

“Jerusalem among the Gentiles”: Jerusalem as “Realm of Memory” (lieux de mémoire) in the Pagan Greek and Latin Collective Memory

My second paper proposal for this year’s SBL Annual Meeting in Boston is scheduled for 11/20/2017, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM.

The paper is concerned with an issue of space and will be read in the “Space, Place, and Lived Experience in Antiquity” section (Chairs: Eric C. Smith und Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre).

The title of my paper is: “Jerusalem among the Gentiles”: Jerusalem as “Realm of Memory” (lieux de mémoire) in the Pagan Greek and Latin Collective Memory. It is the first step in a new book project that takes up the concept of “realms of memory” (lieux de mémoire, “Erinnerungsorte”) of the French historian Pierre Nora in order to apply it to Luke-Acts.

Here is the text of my proposal:

An important point in considering spaces and places in antiquity is that places and locations are not only topographic items. The French historian Pierre Nora has pointed out that places and locations are focal points of collective memories and social identities that survive over generations. He calls this phenomenon “realms of memory” (lieux de mémoire). The paper takes up this methodological approach and applies it to Jerusalem, which is obviously an prominent location of collective memories and social identities in Judaism and Christianity. But Jerusalem is such a focal point not only in ancient texts of Jewish and Christian origin, but also in pagan Greek and Latin sources. In comparison with references to Jerusalem in Greek and Latin literature from the hellenistic times, the paper reconstructs how Jerusalem emerges as focal point of collective memories of the pagan elites in the Roman Empire. In the sources, particularly military encounters between the Romans and Jerusalem (under Pompeius, Titus, Hadrian) are in focus. If possible, Jewish sources (e.g. Josephus) are compared in order to shape the specific interests and purposes of the pagan sources. The paper discusses historiographic and further sources from the era of the Roman Empire (e.g. Martial, Juvenal, Philostrat) as well as numismatic and archeological remains (e.g. the Arch of Titus in Rome) in order to reconstruct Jerusalem as focal point of Roman collective memories, i.e., as “realm of memory” of Roman elites.

Metanoia in Luke-Acts: Recent Approaches and Fresh Insights

For this year’s SBL Annual Meeting in Boston two paper proposals that I made were accepted. I will read my first paper in the Gospel of Luke section on “Metanoia in Luke-Acts: Recent Approaches and Fresh Insights” at 11/19/2017, 2:30 PM.

For those who might be interested in, I attach the text of my proposal:

Metanoia is a topic of great importance in Luke-Acts. The concept of “metanoia” is, however, debated in recent scholarship. Therefore the paper summarizes important contributions in recent research on metanoia in Luke-Acts (e.g. J.-W. Taeger, H. Schönfeld, C. Stenschke, F. Méndez-Moratalla, M. Kim-Rauchholz, J.B. Green) in a first section.

In a second section it is shown that narrative representations of metanoia in Luke-Acts help to identify necessary elements of Luke’s concept of metanoia. The call for repentance that occurs particularly in John the Baptist’s proclamation and in the sermons in the book of Acts show how important metanoia is, but it remains unexplained, what metanoia is exactly and which behavior is expected. Therefore the paper considers texts such as Lk 7:36-50 (the pericope of Jesus’s annointment by a female sinner), Lk 15:11–32 (the parable of the “prodigal son”), Lk 18:9–14 (the prayer of a Pharisee and a toll collector in the temple), Lk 19:1–10 (the pericope of Zachaeus), and Lk 23:39–43 (the dialogue of Jesus and one of the crucified malefactors in the passion narrative) in order to identify regularly occurring elements in narrative representations of metanoia in Luke’s Gospel.

In a next section, these regularly occurring elements of “metanoia” are compared with individual penitential prayers from the Old Testament and the early Jewish tradition. The paper will analyze penitential prayers from the Old Testament and Early Jewish texts such as Ps 51 (Ps 50 LXX), the Prayer of Manasseh, and Joseph and Aseneth 12–13 in order to gain fresh insights concerning Luke’s concept of “metanoia”.