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261 This is certainly the most unusual project in which I have participated in the thirty plus years I have been engaged in studying and pondering the Fourth Gospel, including teaching it to others and writing about it. The project’s initiator and combination shepherd and sheep dog, Tom Thatcher, invited us to reflect upon one of two cluster questions: either upon where we think Johannine Studies has been during our professional lives and where it is headed; or upon our own experience of participating in this scholarly journey. A number of insightful papers, recently read or published, have charted from different perspectives the course of Johannine Studies from the mid–twentieth century to our own day, and I presume that other contributors to this volume will hazard well–founded predictions that will benefit all of us, especially the newer scholars in the field who will have to deal with the emerging challenges. I have therefore decided to reflect upon the second option, “how my mind has, or has not, changed” over the past three decades. Actually, the personal journey of anyone seriously engaged in the academy probably reflects, at least to some extent, what has been going on in the field. So the two sets of questions are more like different ways of dealing with the same question. What has been happening in the field of Johannine Studies over the lifetime of the people involved in this book? How have these developments Chapter 14 REMAINING IN HIS WORD FROM FAITH TO FAITH BY WAY OF THE TEXT Sandra M. Schneiders, I.H.M. 262 SANDRA M. SCHNEIDERS, I.H.M. influenced our personal academic journeys and what might be developing for the future as the result of this history? Reflecting upon how my own mind has and has not changed since I finished my doctoral studies in 1975 and began teaching in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, turned out to be a more interesting mental exercise than I anticipated, because it raised the foundational question of what constitutes “change” when the subject is one’s own mind or one’s discipline. The intricate interplay of influences that often are not purely intellectual or cleanly rational; the intuitive processes of selection and rejection of ideas, theories, explanations, or approaches; the incorporation of insights, which is often so gradual as to be unnoticed until we hear something coming out of our mouths that we would not have said a few years earlier—all these are signs (revelatory seµmeia, perhaps?) that things, or we ourselves, are significantly, even radically, different. But it may not be entirely clear how or in what respect. I suspect that in both an individual and an academic field, “change” does not happen punctually, with something that is clearly “before” and something clearly “after” (like those photos of successful dieters); change is, rather, something we recognize in hindsight as the product of an organic process of development or evolution. The development, though organic, is often not smooth. Like an adolescent whose nose or feet are suddenly (albeit temporarily) out of proportion to the whole, we go through periods of individual and corporate awkwardness as we experiment with new insights, attitudes, intellectual stances, or sensibilities that, once incorporated, feel so natural that we forget our earlier hesitations or even adamant rejections and refusals. No doubt many established scholars (who today would not think of presenting to a class a bibliography containing only male authors) once considered feminist criticism a passing fad of overheated female brains. When did the profound change that was constituted by the mainstreaming of feminist criticism in the biblical academy happen, to me or to the field? These reflections led me to realize that, while there might be a useful mental distinction between “what has changed” and “what has not changed” in my approach to the Fourth Gospel, no real separation between them is possible. What has remained substantially the same has been profoundly affected by what has changed, and what has changed has been controlled and shaped by its incorporation into what has remained the same. So, I will begin by trying to say what has remained the same and then devote most of my time and space to detailing the effects of all that has changed on that core datum. The short answer to the question is that what has remained constant for me is my basic concern, my fundamental interest, in studying the Gospel of John, the “what” and “why...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781602580909
Related ISBN
9781602580107
MARC Record
OCLC
191748361
Pages
425
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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