Thursday, September 07, 2006

Judith Newman on Scripturalization

It's good to see the following abstract mentioned on Torrey Seland's Philo of Alexandria blog:

Judith H. Newman, University of Toronto
The Composition of Prayers and Songs in Philo's De Vita Contemplativa (30 min)
(30 min)
Abstract: "In contrast to Greek pagan prayer and in spite of its infinite variety, early Jewish prayers are marked by their interpretive engagement with Torah. How can we account for this production of scripturalized prayers? This paper compares the "philosophy" practiced by the Therapeutae at Mareotis with the nature and function of prayers at Qumran to argue that all such utterances were offered as manifestations of internalized torah, conceived through the prophetic gift of divine spirit."

This is part of a session at the SBL Annual Meeting in November with the following information:

S19-72Philo of Alexandria
Joint Session With: Philo of Alexandria, History and Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism
11/19/2006 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM Room: 140A - CC
Theme: Reception of Philo of Alexandria in Rabbinic Judaism and Early Christianity: The Question Revisited

The entire session looks most interesting, and lines up James Kugel (Newman's teacher), Maren Niehoff and Daniel Boyarin. (Perhaps I may add that I am a fan of Kugel's work -- his The Bible as It Was is a real favourite).

The reason for my interest in Newman's work on what she calls "scripturalization" is that I have attempted to apply the same concept to New Testament texts and specifically the Passion Narrative. I have a piece due out soon on this called "Scripturalization in Mark's Crucifixion Narrative" in Geert Van Oyen and Tom Shepherd (eds.), The Passion in Mark (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology; Leuven: Peeters, 2006): 33-47. I have another article on the same topic due out next year.

1 comment:

J. B. Hood said...

Don't forget her “Nehemiah 9 and the Scripturalization of Prayer in the Second Temple Period,” in C. A. Evans and J. A. Sanders, eds., The Function of Scripture in Early Jewish and Christian Tradition (JSNTSS 154; Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 6; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 112-123.

Interesting conclusions/assertions in that piece, can't wait to hear the new stuff at SBL.