The fourth in the McDonald Distinguished Scholar Lectures series celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with a two-day international conference on April 3 and 4 at Cannon Chapel. The conference is convened by the Center for the Study of Law and Religion and Candler School of Theology and sponsored by the McDonald Agape Foundation. This event is free and open to the public. Complimentary boxed lunches for conference attendees will be served both days.
Here is the schedule.
It looks quite good! See you there.
Professor David J Chalcraft
Department of Sociology, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
“Moving Through Texts: The Rituals of Reading and the Sociology of Mobility”
Making use of perspectives from the sociology of mobility–the study of the movement of ideas, goods and objects and people across time and space–the lecture explores what kinds of historical, hermeneutical and explanatory connections might be made between the ways in which readers journey through texts, the now smaller and now larger material forms of the text itself and how it is distributed and transmitted, and the modes of mobility dominant in the social context of the reader and the material artefact of the text.
For example, does ‘walking with God’ have most resonance in a culture where walking is the hegemonic form of movement in the society and where a reader can gradually take a walking pace and route through the entire text, exploring all ‘highways and by-ways’? What are the consequences of the ontology of movement for the mode of literacy and for routes through texts? How are texts transported and carried from one place to another? What are the factors that encourage a text to reduce in physical size and breadth of content, and what factors encourage expansion and commentary? What advances in the technology of the production and transmission of texts interact with reading and travelling habits in day to day life?
Comparing instances across time and space of the variety of modes of movement, modes of reading, and material forms of texts can lead, it is hoped, to generalizations and also to illuminate particular bodies of textual tradition (in both ancient and more modern times, from the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, tefillin, Daily Bible Study, to bite-size Bible sandwich boards in the modern city) and their interpretation and significance.
I had a friend in North Carolina who was a pastor. A couple of his deacons weren’t fond of him but the majority of church folk loved him. The two deacons hatched a plot to get rid of him. They got a woman to call him up in the middle of the night and, crying, begged him to come over to her house. She was suicidal, she said, and needed to talk.
He threw on some clothes and rushed over. When he arrived, she answered the door in a negligee and grabbed him and kissed him. At that very moment the deacons, in the shrubs, snapped a photo. They told him to leave the Church or it would be all over town by the next day.
So, go ahead, tell me that you shouldn’t be concerned about the implications of being alone with a person of the opposite sex.
Tell us more about your life as a learner-
In my younger days I was carried away with a great passion for learning, yet I was not like some presumptuous enough to teach myself. At Antioch I frequently listened to Apollinaris of Laodicea, and attended his lectures; yet, although he instructed me in the holy scriptures, I never embraced his disputable doctrine as to their meaning. At length my head became sprinkled with gray hairs so that I looked more like a master than a disciple.
Yet I went on to Alexandria and heard Didymus. And I have much to thank him for: for what I did not know I learned from him, and what I knew already I did not forget. So excellent was his teaching.
Men fancied that I had now made an end of learning. Yet once more I came to Jerusalem and to Bethlehem. What trouble and expense it cost me to get Baraninas to teach me under cover of night. For by his fear of the Jews he presented to me in his own person a second edition of Nicodemus.
Of all of these I have frequently made mention in my works. The doctrines of Apollinaris and of Didymus are mutually contradictory. The squadrons of the two leaders must drag me in different directions, for I acknowledge both as my masters.