Sheffield is, naturally, well represented at the British NT Conference in Nottingham (1-3 Sept). First, here is a genuine world exclusive…the Jesus seminar programme:
Michael Sandford (University of Sheffield), ‘Chanting down Babylon or Weeping for Jerusalem? The historical Jesus, Roman Imperialism, and Cultural Resistance’
Abstract Using insights from postcolonial theory, this paper explores parallels between the cultural resistance to Western imperialism that we find in the contemporary Rastafari movement, and Jewish cultural resistance to Roman imperialism in ancient Palestine at the time of Jesus. While this paper draws attention to the role of Roman imperialism for understanding the historical Jesus, it will argue that Jewish imperial resistance became particularly prevalent only after the execution of Jesus and with the rise of Jewish nationalism. As such, this paper treats the evangelists’ framing of Jesus as one which may have been influenced by later political developments, and concludes that Jesus’ participation in ‘imperial resistance’ was minimal.
Session 2 (with the New Testament: Use and Influence seminar)
‘Pope Benedict XVI and the Historical Jesus’
James Crossley (University of Sheffield)
John Lyons (University of Bristol)
Angus Paddison (University of Winchester)
Review of Maurice Casey, Jesus of Nazareth:An Independent Historian’s Account of his Life and Teachings (London and New York: T&T Clark, 2010)
Eddie Adams (KCL)
Helen Bond (University of Edinburgh)
David Bryan (Durham)
Mark Finney (University of Sheffield)
Karen Wenell (University of Birmingham)
Response by Maurice Casey (University of Nottingham)
Social World of the New Testament and the Synoptic Gospels seminars:
Minna Shkul (TBA)
Daniel Ho, ‘Do Not Eat it’: Rediscovering the Offensiveness of 1 Cor. 10:25-30 in Light of LXX Ps 23:1 and Recent Scholarship on Idol Meals in Roman Corinth’
Scholars have generally assumed that 1 Cor. 10:25-30 supports Paul’s stance of indifference towards eating idol food. It is generally assumed that the biblical quotation in 1 Cor. 10:26 is for the purpose of justifying the Christian’s freedom with regard to eating: ALL meat bought in the market is legitimate for ALL Christians to eat. 10:26 functions as a guilt-killer to further substantiate Paul’s instruction of freedom in 10:25. In this paper I will re-examine the rhetorical purpose of Paul’s quotation of Ps. 23:1 in 10:26 in light of recent scholarship on the correlation of eating idol meals and building up the civic identity of Corinthians, as well as the overall context of LXX Ps. 23. I conclude that 1 Cor. 10:25-30 is better regarded as Paul’s solemn response to thanksgiving meals to patron gods (traditional Greek gods or Caesar), which were common in the society. When the eater acknowledged the food as a blessing of gods other than the God ‘Christians’ believe, it constitutes an idol meal and the participation of ‘Christians’ constitutes an act of idolatry. Finally, the correlation of this new understanding of 10:25-30 and previous warnings in 10:1-22, as well as the Christian monotheistic confession in 1 Cor 8:4-6, will be examined.
NT and Contemporary Society seminar:
Katie Edwards, ‘Sporting Messiah: Christ Imagery in Male-targeted Sports Advertising’
Christ-imagery is now ubiquitous in male-targeted advertising, from Wayne Rooney’s infamous Nike ad and David Beckham’s notorious front cover for GQ magazine, to Sony’s ‘CHRIST’ PlayStation ad depicting a dead Jesus with stigmata in the shape of the console’s controls. While scholars of popular culture have touched on the study of celebrities using messianic imagery as part of their promotional arsenal (for example Carlton Brick’s 2006 conference paper on the ‘meaning’ of David Beckham in popular culture, ‘Father, Why Has Thou Forsaken Me? Postmodernism, Desire and Dissatisfaction. A Case Study of David Beckham’s ‘meaning’’), analysis of Christ-imagery in advertising remains an almost entirely neglected area of research. This paper will read a number of advertising samples, focusing mainly on sports advertisements, to investigate the popularity of Christ-imagery in male-targeted advertisements: what messages about masculinity, race, nationalism and patriotism are encoded in these images?