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How Performance Changed My (Scholarly) Life (Essay)

Currents in Theology and Mission 2010, August, 37, 4

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My title frames the topic of performance criticism in terms of a conversion narrative, and is only partly tongue-in-cheek. Performance criticism erupted into my scholarly work like a geyser, baptizing familiar analytical tools with a salty spray. The tonic tasted bad but it did its work. I hope this essay will suggest how this curative can shape a scholar and influence interpretation. My interest in biblical material rests on my concern that the New Testament too often supports inaccurate perceptions of the world. Its use over two millennia has too often been used to authorize interpretations of its contents as mandates for brutality and oppression. Yet scholarly explorations of the historical Jesus and our growing understanding of the history of early Christianity strongly indicate a different trajectory for the Jesus movement at its inception. (1) I have therefore sought clues for faithful readings of the New Testament that promise different results in our own time. My efforts have assumed that faithful readings begin in the language of the compositions themselves. In an effort to retrieve aspects of earlier interpretative traditions of the New Testament and the materials used to compose it, I have asked how its original audiences may have experienced these literary compositions as spoken performances.

How Performance Changed My (Scholarly) Life (Essay)
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  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Affairs
  • Published: 01 August 2010
  • Publisher: Lutheran School of Theology and Mission
  • Print Length: 16 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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