Armin Lange, University of Vienna, Chair of the 2014 International Meeting Local Program
Between Messiah and Halakhah: Jeremiah 33:14–26 and Its Reception in Judaism and Christianity (45 min)
The reception history of the Bible is among the richest treasures in the cultural history of the world. It illuminates how sacred texts acquire new meanings when they are read in the ever changing cultural contexts of their interpreters. But next to these treasures of meaning, the reception history of the Bible is coined by hermeneutic conflict between religious and denominational communities. In my opening address I will illustrate both aspects of the Bible’s reception with the example of the Two-Covenants-Prophecy in Jer 33:14-26. As a Masoretic long text, the Two-Covenants-Prophecy is itself already a part of the reception history of the book of Jeremiah. It interprets the metaphor that shepherds will herd their flock in Jerusalem once again (Jer 33:12-13) as a promise of an unbroken rule of the royal house of David and of an unbroken priestly service in the Jerusalem temple. Ancient Jewish interpretations understood the Two-Covenants-Prophecy as an eschatological and Messianic promise. The emergence of Christological interpretations of the Two-Covenants-Prophecy in late ancient Christian literature led to an interpretative shift in Judaism. Rabbinic literature discusses the Two-Covenants-Prophecy only with regard to the eternal covenant of circumcision and the eternal existence of the Torah.
Plenary Sessions 07. Juli 2014 The Reception of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism
11:45 AM–12:45 PM
Hauptgebäude - Großer Festsaal
Lawrence Schiffman, Yeshiva University
The Reception of the Jewish Scriptures in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Literature (40 min)
The tradition that we term "biblical," namely those books that eventually ended up in the canon of the Hebrew Bible, was formative for the development of Second Temple Judaism as well as rabbinic faith, practice and literature. Whatever may have been the understanding of canon among the various groups of Second Temple and early rabbinic Jews, these particular books took a leading role in shaping Judaism. This paper will investigate the manner in which the various genres and classes of literature of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism preserved and transmitted the Bible, and how they understood the text, canon, authority and function of these books. Further, we will discuss the role of the biblical heritage in emerging Jewish ritual and law.
08. Juli 2014 The Reception of the Old Testament in Ancient Christianity
11:45 AM–12:45 PM
Hauptgebäude - Großer Festsaal Agnethe Siquans, Universitat Wien
The Reception of the Hebrew Bible/Septuagint in Patristic Bible Interpretation (2nd–8th Centuries) (20 min)
Biblical interpretation is a central feature of patristic literature. Commentaries, homilies, letters, moral and systematic treatises and others are full of biblical quotations and allusions and argue on the basis of scriptural texts. Christian writers are convinced of the unity of the Christian Bible including the New Testament. Their interpretation of the Hebrew Bible/Septuagint intends to prove this unity as well as the fulfilling of the biblical prophecies in Christ and the Church. Therefore, finding, establishing, and interpreting intertextual connections and correlations between Old and New Testament texts, interpreting scriptura per scripturam, is one of the most widely used methods of patristic interpretation. This lecture will exemplarily elucidate this method, its process and its theological implications.
Elisabeth Birnbaum, Katholisch-Theologische
The Septuagint, the Church Fathers, and the “Hebraica Veritas” (20 min)
The question whether the Septuagint contained the true and unaltered word of God was of utmost importance for the Early Church. Early Christians lived in a Greek-speaking world. They spread the Gospel in Greek, they wrote letters and homilies in Greek and based their doctrine on a Greek translation of the Scripture. Unfolding the story of Jesus of Nazareth, the gospels use quotations, testimonies and prophecies from the Septuagint. But the text of Septuagint sparked also controversies, since it differed from the Hebrew considerably. So Rabbinic Judaism, in the first case, looked at the Septuagint with suspicion. When Jerome, too, opted for the “Hebraica veritas”, he drew enormous criticism. The problem was twofold: Firstly, in order to understand the Hebrew Bible, one had to study the Hebrew language. Relying on Jews and Jewish expertise, however, seemed not to be without risk for a Christian exegesis. Secondly, crucial doctrines of the Church and their interpretation relied on the Septuagint translation, Isaiah 7 just being one famous example. The lecture exposes the theological premises, problems and consequences of the (sometimes bizarre) dispute about the "true" text.
09. Juli 2014
The New Testament in Ancient Christianity and Ancient Judaism
11:45 AM–12:45 PM
Hauptgebäude - Großer Festsaal Martin Meiser, Universitat des Saarlandes
The Christian Reception History of the New Testament (20 min)
In ancient Christianity, the New Testament has been the base for both dogmatic and moral teaching. The enculturation of the New Testament in an intellectually sophisticated milieu, however, raised questions not only of reception but also of technical exegesis. The history of ancient anti-Christian polemics reveals an increasing Biblical knowledge on the side of the adversaries. Therefore, Christian apologetics had to cover not only moral behaviour but also the wording of the Scripture itself. The fruit of these developments is a Christian exegesis, based on ancient philology on Homer, reliable for questions and doubts of careful readers, divergent interpretations made by so-called heretics, and anti-Christian attacks.
Gunter Stemberger, Universität Wien
The Reception of the New Testament in Rabbinic Literature (20 min)
In modern research, as most prominently in two volumes by Johann Maier, rabbinic knowledge of and reactions to writings of the New Testament, were reduced to an absolute minimum. This has changed in recent years, especially with books on Jesus and the Gospels in the Talmud by Peter Schäfer and Daniel Boyarin, Schäfer’s The Jewish Jesus, or Holger Zellentin’s Rabbinic Parodies. The by now widely accepted thesis of a much longer redaction history of the Bavli and the growing research into the social and religious history of Babylonia and, more generally, religious interaction in Late Antiquity, greatly contributed to this development. The lecture will summarize these developments and evaluate recent theories.
Abstracts der Vorträge, die für eine breitere Öffentlichkeit zugänglich sind
Anti-Semitic Readings of the Bible
7.7. 8:30-11:30 und 14:30-17:30 HS 34
Introduction: Antisemitism, Antijudaism, and Other Terms Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher, Catholic-Theological Private University of Linz
In this brief introduction we will discuss various terms which are used to designate denigration, hatred, and persecution of Jews and Judaism.
Rewriting the Heritage of the Other: Antisemitic Readings of the Exodus Narrative Armin Lange, University of Vienna
Rewriting the Exodus Narrative was one of the main means to anti-semitic polemics in pagan Greco-Roman literature from Manetho to Tacitus and beyond. The Jews were ridiculed as godless lepers and worse. In this way, anti-semitic authors tried to implant into the Jewish cultural memory and the extra-Jewish recognition of Judaism an inacceptable component. They intended to destroy Jewish identity both inside and outside Judaism by way a destructive form of antisemitic intertextuality. Not only this strategy but also many of the anti-semitic topoi of pagan Greco-Roman literature continue to have an effect as of today.
“For the Law Was Given through Moses; the Grace and the Truth through Jesus” (Jn 1:17): Anti-Semitic Readings of Hebrew Scripture in Early Christianity in the Context of Rabbinic Thought Eveline Goodman-Thau, Hermann-Cohen-Akademie
In our paper we will explore the meaning of Covenant (Hebr. Brit) in the New Testament as compared to the way Rabbinics understand this term. The tension between the notion of “Law” vs. “Grace and Truth”, will be traced through the way Jews and Christians during this period viewed Moses and Jesus as the two central figures representing “Covenant”, link between Man and God in the light of the establishment of the “New Covenant”. In addition, we will trace Anti-Semitic readings in later periods to see how the idea of the “New Israel” runs in this way like a red thread through Christian Theology, throughout the ages.
Anti-Judaism in Patristic Exegesis Ludger Schwienhorst-Schönberger, Universität Wien
To understand Antijudaism in Christian Theology and Church History it is necessary to realize how patristic exegesis works. Interpretation of the Bible was the kernel of patristic theology. It is a widespread opinion that exegesis of the Church-Fathers was intrinsically antijudaistic. The paper wants to enlighten an obvious and complex issue. What is and what is not „antijudaistic exegesis“?
Persecution of Jews according to Archeological and Literary Sources in Late Antiquity Gudrun Wiener, University of Vienna
Literary sources report about destructions of synagogues and Jewish communities and other forms of persecution in Late Antiquity. This presentation will ask how the archeological report relates to this evidence. Next to burn- and destruction-layers in synagogue sites, the reuse of Jewish items in other contexts as well as the remodeling of Jewish symbols will be considered.
Religiöse Traditionen in der Judenfeindschaft der Neuzeit Johannes Heil, Hochschule für Jüdische Studien
Dass die mittelalterliche Judenfeindschaft wesentlich religiös geprägt war und die christliche Exegese der Bibel dabei einen bestimmenden Anteil hatte, steht ausser Zweifel. Diskutieren mag man über den Anteil und die Rolle anderer Faktoren wie Politik, Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft. Der Vortrag befaßt sich mit der Langzeitwirkung der mittelalterlichen Gemengelage. Angesichts der in der Neuzeit voranschreitenden Prozesse von Entsakraliserung und Säkularisierung stellt sich die Frage nach der religiösen Prägung von Judenfeindschaft nach 1500. Dabei werden zwei gegenläufoge Punkte besonders profiliert: Die Radikaliserung von Judenfeindschaft durch den Wegfall unmittelbar religiöser Momente einerseits und die strukturell religiöse Anlage von judenfeindlichen Denkformen wie Wagners "Erlösungsanisemitismus" oder der "Protokolle der Weisen von Zion" andererseits.
Anti-Jewish and Antisemitic Aspects in Protestant Readings of the Hebrew Bible from the Reformation Era until the 19th Century Christian Wiese, University of Frankfurt
This paper will explore anti-Jewish and antisemitic elements in the Protestant exegetical tradition since the Reformation period and contextualize them within the history of Christian images of Jews and Judaism from the 16th to the 19th century. The focus will be on an interpretation of Martin Luther’s polemical refutation of Jewish exegesis of the Hebrew Bible that led him to his violent anti-Jewish writings, on an analysis of the use of the Hebrew Bible in the theological and social denigration of Judaism in the early modern period and finally on the image of Judaism constructed by the emerging modern Protestant biblical exegesis in the 19th century. The long and differentiated history of the anti-Jewish tendencies inherent in the Protestant appropriation of the Hebrew Bible as the Christian “Old Testament” and the negative depiction of parts of the biblical tradition as “Jewish” will be discussed in terms of their religious roots and their political effect on debates regarding the position of the Jewish minority within Christian society. The paper will culminate in a systematic analysis of the different categories of anti-Jewish assumptions dominating the Protestant exegetical and theological discourse by the end of the 19th century and their impact on and links to the phenomenon of modern antisemitism.
Catholic Anti-Semitism from the Reformation until the 19th Century Wolfgang Treitler, Universität Wien
Catholic Anti-Semitism developed step by step from the early Christian writings of the Gospels and the Church Fathers, and it reached one of his peaks in the Middle Age at the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and its aftermath. It was passed on by Catholic representatives and theologians as well as by preachers. There are three men that cannot be ignored in this respect: Pope Paul IV (1476-1559) forced the Jews in his bull "Cum nimis absurdum" to live in ghettos, and he renewed the command of the Fourth Lateran Council that forced the Jews to wear specific clothes when appearing in public. The famous and notorious preacher of the Augustine Order, Abraham a Sancta Clara (1644-1709), identified the Jews with Judas Iskariot and preached against both full with hatred. To him Jews were “stubborn people” and “outrageous beasts” like the traitor of Christ. The founder of the "Wiener Kirchenzeitung", Sebastian Brunner (1814-1893) preached and wrote against Jews, the Talmud, and what he called "the Jewish hatred of the Cross". He strongly opposed the political emancipation of the Jews. Later the National Socialists considered him one of the important men of their own anti-Semitic tradition.
Capistrano's Anti-Semitism Klaus Davidowicz, Universität Wien
John of Capistrano (1386 - 1456) is an enigmatic figure. He was a famous preacher and theologian, but also a feared inquisitor and fanatical anti-Semite, so that he is known as the "Scourge of the Jews." The lecture describes his life and his anti-Semitism, but also the historical impact of Capistrano. In Austria, Germany, Hungary or Croatia, there are altars, statues and churches named after him.
Anti-Semitic Exegesis of the New Testament 1900–1945 in Transnational Perspectives: From Rudolf Kittel (1853–1929) to His Son Gerhard (1888–1948) Lukas Bormann, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
In 1912 the community of German Jews sued Theodor Fritsch (1852–1933), the editor of the “Handbook of the Jewish Question”, for defamation of the Jewish religion and also for blaspheming the God of both Jews and Christians. The Royal Court of Saxony asked the outstanding Biblical scholar Rudolf Kittel (1853–1929) to give a final report about the issue. Kittel came to the conclusion that Fritsch was either mentally ill or morally insane. However, in 1943 the Tuebingian Theological Faculty presented a report to the German high court for finance about the question of whether the Bible should be seen as contradicting the “views of the German people”. In this report the dean of the faculty Artur Weiser (1893–1978), assisted by his colleague Gerhard Kittel (1888–1948), the son of Rudolf Kittel, quoted extensively from the “Handbook of the Jewish Question”, now published by the SS, as a reliable scholarly source. What happened between 1912 and 1944 in German Biblical scholarship that the anti-Semitic exegesis of an outspoken political and racial anti-Semite and non-academic figure such as Fritsch came into use by leading Biblical scholars? And particularly, what led to the radical change in opinion between the generations of father Kittel and his son Gerhard? In my paper I will also deal with certain transnational aspects of the topic, particularly the German-British and also German-American scholarly networks in these times.
The Rise and Fall of the Notion of “Spätjudentum” in Biblical Scholarship Konrad Schmid, University of Zurich
In early to mid-20th century biblical scholarship, the notion of “Spätjudentum” (“Late Judaism”) was well regarded as a designation for the Second Temple Period. Nowadays, “Spätjudentum” is usually considered to be—at least implicitly—a supersessionist Christian term, but it was also used by Jewish scholars. This paper will explore the origins of the term in the 19th century, the usage during its heyday, and the circumstances for its abandonment.
Archaeological Research in Former Concentration Camps: Heritage — Remembering, Commemoration, Learning Claudia Theune-Vogt, University of Vienna
Contemporary archaeology, especially contemporary archaeology of the time of National Socialism and the Second World War, is focussing a rather short period in time. But this archaeology is getting more and more important, because only a few survivors of the concentrations camps are still alive, who can bear witness of the terror of the Nazi regime in general and in particular of the terror in the concentration camps. Concentration camps are archeological sites which were crime scenes - places where a terrorist dictatorship with a racist ideology degraded people to inferior beings. They were forced to slave labour, they were tortured and murdered. Archaeologists have to become active participants in preventing such cruelties from being repeated. The excavated concentration camp crime scenes can serve as memorials for the victims, they can warn and admonish. They can help to teach young people about National Socialism, especially when they lack a direct connection to this periods via parents or grandparents. Archaeological research offers the opportunity to provide artifacts and objects to the memorials and museums to create or enhance places of learning and remembrance.
Replacement Theology and Opposition to a Jewish Commonwealth, 1947–1987 Yaakov Ariel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict stirred strong reactions in the Christian world. The varied opinions often related to different readings of the Christian sacred scriptures and pointed to a strong correlation between holding to Christian supersessionism and negative attitudes towards Israel. Churches and theologians did not recognize the Jews as heirs to biblical Israel and viewed Judaism as obsolete would not accept the right of Israel to exist. While many Christians have developed a moderately critical view of Israel, more hostile opinions are still grounded in Replacement Theology.
The Anti-Semitic Reception History of the Hebrew Bible in the 20th Century Russell E. Fuller, University of San Diego
The Anti-Semitic Reception History of the Hebrew Bible in the 20th Century The 20th century included the highpoint of the influence of National Socialism in Germany as well as the sharpened awareness of the repercussions of anti-semitism in general and theological anti-semitism in the reception of the Bible in particular. Although these chronological boundaries are somewhat arbitrary in the study of the history of these phenomena, this paper will explore selected examples of the anti-semitic reception of selected passages from the Hebrew Bible and the explicit historical and cultural contexts in which they were and perhaps still are found.
Bible and the Moving Image/The Bible and Cinema
8.7. 14:30-17:30 HS 16
Biblical Women in Jewish-Non-Jewish Relations: Early Silent Films Frank Stern, Universität Wien
After 1900, in the first two decades of film production Jewish film topics were of mainstream interest in the cultural metropolis of Vienna. Most of these films either dealt with the Jewish experience through history or Biblical stories that were put on the screen for the first time. The biblical women and men became living moving images and part of modern visual culture. Due to the shifts in the role of gender and women after the fin-de-siècle and with reference to psychoanalysis women were at the center of these fiction films. The paper discusses a number of these films with relation to Jewish-non-Jewish relations and the role of the representations of biblical women as the new femme moderne.
Rediscovering Religion in Metropolis: The Dispositif as a Reading Strategy Laura Copier, Universiteit Utrecht
This presentation will focus on the concept of the dispositif in relation to Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. The term dispositif is derived from the apparatus theory, pioneered by Jean-Louis Baudry in the early 1970s. Apparatus theory is grounded in the notion that cinema’s technological base (appareil de base, all the machinery necessary to produce and to screen a film) is an ideological construct. Even though Baudry’s analysis, firmly rooted in Marxist theory, might still be relevant within the larger field of classic film theory, the concept has undergone some significant changes in the last 25 years. Tom Gunning’s 1986 intervention via his now famous coining of the term “cinema of attractions” and the role dispositif plays in his assessment of Early Cinema, has given new meaning to the disposif as a tool for analysis. In short, Gunning’s definition of the dispositif of the cinema of attractions hints to the fact that the interrelationship between a technology, a specific film form and a specific spectator can and should be historicized. Frank Kessler, in his 2006 appropriation of the term dispositif, proposes to retool the term in order for it to be a heuristic tool. As he argues, “a historical analysis based on the concept of the dispositif re-interpreted in a pragmatic perspective could actually take into account different uses of one and the same text within different exhibition contexts, or different historical framings” (Kessler, “The Cinema of Attractions as Dispositif”, 2006: 61). Taking my cue from Kessler, I will argue that in the case of the restored 2010 version of Lang’s Metropolis, the configuration of technology, text and spectatorship, results in a rereading of the film’s obvious religious themes, characters and imagery, within a contemporary context.
Moses on Screen From Cecil B. De Mille Until Today Klaus Davidowicz, Universität Wien
With the impending release of Ridley Scott's own cinematic version of the Exodus, this paper offers a critical survey of cinematic representations of Moses since the seminal contributions of Cecil B. DeMille.
“Behold, I’ll Be Back”: Terminator, the Book of Revelation and the Power of Sequels Michelle Fletcher, King's College - London
Terminator 5 is currently being filmed, thirty years, and three sequels after Cameron's The Terminator first appeared in cinemas. Through three decades of change, Terminator's apocalyptic visions of the end of the world, good vs. evil, and humans vs. other have not lost their appeal. There is now a range of scholarship available examining how The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day use material from the book of Revelation, but focus on the later instalments of the series is lacking. Therefore, this paper proposes to build on this previous Terminator scholarship in two ways. First, it will focus on the repeated use of themes and images from the book of Revelation within all four Terminator films in order to examine how they have developed since The Terminator's 1984 inception. This discussion will highlight how the blurring of categories, dialogue with the past, and confusion of good vs. evil have heightened as the franchise has progressed. Secondly, it will use this exploration of the use of apocalyptic themes in the Terminator films in order to re-read the text of Revelation itself. For example, the character of the Terminator will be bought into dialogue with the Son of Man figure, and the relocation of film scenes will be compared to Revelation's use of the Hebrew Bible. This will suggest fresh interpretations for the text of Revelation, demonstrating how its use of images and motifs is more akin to Terminator sequels than The Terminator itself. Ultimately, it will demonstrate that the enduring appeal of the Terminator franchise and the book of Revelation is not their presentations of the future, but rather their dialogue with the past.
Reception of the Bible in the Sign of World War One
7.7. 8:30-11:30 HS 46
"Macht den Tempel wieder rein. Laßt uns Makkabäer sein!" Der deutsche Zionismus und die Makkabäer
Klaus Davidowicz, Universität Wien
Im 19. Jahrhundert wurde Chanukka, das Fest, das Jahrhunderte lang eher ein Nischendasein im jüdischen Festtagskalender geführt hatte, wurde in den zionistischen Strömungen in Österreich und Deutschland geradezu „wiederbelebt.“ Der Sieg des traditionellen Judentums gegenüber dem assimilierten hellenisierten Judentum wurde im Zionismus zu einem Symbol nationaler Befreiung. In Wien wurde am 20. Dezember 1883 die erste zionistische Makkabäerfeier durch die Studentenverbindung „Kadima" ins Leben gerufen. In den zionistischen Jugendbewegungen in Österreich und Deutschland wurde durch ihre Chanukka-Feiern als „Chag ha-Makkabim" (Fest der Makkabäer) oder „Chag ha-Chaschmonaim" (Fest der Hasmonäer) ein bewusster Kontrapunkt gegen die seltsame Verschmelzung von Weihnachten und Chanukka als „Weihnukka" der assimilierten jüdischen Bürgerhäuser gesetzt. Die Instrumentalisierung der Makkabäer im Zionismus sollte seinen Höhepunkt im Ersten Weltkrieg finden. Martin Buber (1878-1965) politisierte Chanukka 1914 in seiner Rede „Die Tempelweihe“ sogar so weit, indem er den Weltkrieg mit dem Krieg der Makkabäer verglich. In dieser Rede, die er bei einer zionistischen Chanukka-Feier gehalten hatte, bezeichnete Buber die Teilnahme am Weltkrieg als eine befreiende national-jüdische Erfahrung. So schrieb Heinrich Loewe (1869-1951): “Wenn wir als Bürger unseres Vaterlandes kämpfen, so leuchtet uns die Tapferkeit unserer Ahnen, der Todesmut der Makkabäer, der Riesenkampf eines Bar-Kochba und der Heldentod Hunderttausender unseres Volkes in allen Zeiten als glorreiches Beispiel voran!“ (Jüdische Rundschau 9. Jahrgang, Nr. 32, S.344) Der Vortrag wird anhand der zionistischen Artikel, Gedichte und Reden wie der Kampf der Makkabäer in der Zeit des Weltkrieges symbolisch herangezogen wurde und dass dennoch auch diese patriotischen Zionisten nicht vom Antisemitismus verschont blieben.
Religion as Recontextualization in Selig Schachnowitz’ Im Schatten des Weltkriegs (1915) Eva Edelmann-Ohler, Eidegenössiche Technische Hochschule Zürich
In Selig Schachnowitz’ text Im Schatten des Weltkriegs religion and biblical references play an important role in interpreting war and its circumstances. The four little novellas (Der Prophetenbaum, Judel, der kleine Makkabäer, Unter Rennenkamps Fahnen, Auf der Lichtwiese) show how thus war is relieved of the cruelty of everyday warfare: By transposing wartime events in a system of divinely ordained meaningfulness the war is transformed from human contingency to a divine coherence. The four novellas give an example of a literary recontextualisation, which uses the biblical references as a narrative for the war to reduce the terror of war and to make these events part of the familiar world of Jewry.
Uriel Birnbaum "In Gottes Krieg" Daniel Hoffmann, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Uriel Birnbaum 1921 in Wien erschienenes Buch In Gottes Krieg ist ein frühes Zeugnis für eine moderne jüdische Kunst, die in der Auseinandersetzung mit der Moderne im biblischen Judentum neuen künstlerischen Ausdruck sucht. In 240 Sonetten deutet er das Erlebnis des Ersten Weltkriegs als Gericht Gottes. Anders als bei den Expressionisten zerfällt für ihn die grauenvolle Wirklichkeit des Krieges nicht in fragmentarische Verse, sondern er baut in der strengen Form des Sonetts eine Einsicht von der wirkenden Gegenwart Gottes im Krieg auf. Das Motto aus dem Prophetenbuch Jona, geworfen zu sein in das Herz der Meere, verleiht durch seine Anspielung auf die Rettung Israels am Roten Meer die Zuversicht, dass das Gericht ein rettendes sein wird. Aus dem lyrischen Werk wird so eine religiöse Botschaft. Uriel Birnbaum "In God's war", 1921 published in Vienna, is an early reference to modern Jewish art, which searches new artistic expression in its engagement with modernity in biblical Judaism. In 240 sonnets Birnbaum interprets the experience of the First World War as a judgment of God. Unlike the expressionists he does not decompose the horrible reality of war in fragmentary verses. In the strict form of the sonnet he is building an insight of the presence of God acting in the war on. The motto of the prophet Jonah, to be thrown into the heart of the seas, gives in its allusion to the salvation of Israel at the Red Sea the confidence that the judgment will be a saving one. It is a religious message that emerges from the lyrical work.
Wenn wir die Heilige Schrift des Alten Bundes Aufschlagen: Aspekte Biblisch Legitimierter Kriegsrhetorik im Ersten Weltkrieg am Beispiel der Hirtenbriefe von Fürstbischof Leopold Schuster, Diözese Sec Edith Petschnigg, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Wie kein anderes Buch erwies sich die Bibel über nahezu alle Epochen hinweg als kulturprägend, als Kulturgut par excellence, als das Buch der abendländischen Kultur. Bis weit ins 20. Jahrhundert hinein gehörte das Wissen um biblische Geschichten und Gestalten, die Verwendung biblisch geprägter Worte und Redewendungen, ja ein gewisser „Bibelton“ zum allgemeinen Bildungsgut. Es verwundert daher nicht, dass biblische Texte, Themen und Metaphern auch im Zuge des Ersten Weltkrieges Eingang in die Kriegsrhetorik und -predigt fanden. Auf Seiten aller kriegsteilnehmenden Staaten stellten Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften ein konstitutives Element im Kriegsgeschehen dar. Besonders der Hebräischen Bibel bzw. dem um einige griechischsprachige Schriften erweiterten Ersten Testament kam bei der Kriegsdeutung eine Schlüsselstellung zu. Am Beispiel der Hirtenbriefe Fürstbischof Leopold Schusters (1842–1927), der von 1893 bis 1927 der Diözese Seckau vorstand, wird der Beitrag der Rezeption alttestamentlichen Texte, Themen und Metaphern im Verlauf des Ersten Weltkrieges nachgehen, diese exemplarisch analysieren und in den Kontext der Kriegstheologie des österreichischen Episkopats stellen.
Reception of the Bible in Jewish, Early Christian and Islamic Art
10.7. 8:30-11:30 HS 34
Biblical Motifs in Jewish Art of Late Antique Palestine Günter Stemberger, Universität Wien
Several mosaic floors of late antique synagogues in Palestine present biblical scenes, most prominently the Aqedah (Gen. 22) in Hammat Tiberias, Sepphoris and Beth Alpha. Other mosaics in Sepphoris depict the announcement of Isaac’s birth, the investment of Aaron as high priest and the sacrificial cult; the floor of the synagogue of Meroth most probably presents David with Goliath’s weapons. Daniel in the lion’s den is depicted several times. This repertory has been considerably enlarged by the excavation of the synagogue of Khirbet Hamam. The paper will present the evidence and discuss the iconography as well as the meaning of this selection of biblical scenes within the context of late antique Palestinian Judaism.
Biblical Elements in the Archaeology of Jewish Diasporas in the Roman Empire Nora David, University of Vienna
The question of Jewish (self-)identification in the diasporas of antiquity is a methodological core point of archaeological and historical research. The use of Biblical tradition is one of the most important elements oft his identification. Although verbatim quotations are rare in archaeological context in the diaspora, some phrases, names, and motifs turn up at different points of the Roman Empire. This paper aims to examine these occurrences, and analyzes their significance in the identification of finds as Jewish.
Reception of the Bible on Late Antique Textiles Renate Pillinger, Universität Wien
This article demonstrates that the number of Late Antique textiles with explicitly Christian themes is comparatively small in relationship to the total number of finds. Among these, narrative (cyclical) illustration), such as the life of Adam or David, are particularly rare. Nonetheless they portray interesting insights on the scriptural understanding of the individual textile bearer or commissioner, some with especially magnificent biblical illustrations. As with other art forms, images from the Old Testament predominate, and the story of Joseph occupies a special position. The life of Jesus is dominated by the New Testament narrative and is supplemented with many noncanonical stories.
Darstellungen aus dem Alten und Neuen Testament auf Frühbyzantinischen Pilgerampullen Andreas Pülz, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Wie im griechisch-römischen Heidentum der Antike, dem Judentum oder dem Islam spielt auch im Christentum das Pilgerwesen eine wesentliche Rolle. Die Motivation für die Wallfahrten war der Wunsch, durch das Aufsuchen der heiligen Gräber oder Gedenkstätten eine besondere Nähe zu Gott bzw. den verehrten Heiligen und Anteil an den Gnadengaben zu erlangen. Daher nahm man vielfach auch Amulette oder organische Substanzen, die durch den Kontakt mit den Reliquien als segensspendend galten, mit nach Hause. Diese Eulogia wurden in der Regel in Ampullen aufbewahrt, deren beidseitiger bildlicher Schmuck sich nicht nur auf die jeweiligen Pilgerorte bzw. auf einen speziellen Heiligen bezog (vgl. die Menasampullen). Vielmehr ist eine Reihe von Pilgerfläschchen erhalten, auf denen sich alt- und neutestamentliche Motive finden. Der Bezug der gewählten biblischen Themen zum jeweiligen Pilgerort ist aber heute in vielen Fällen nur mehr schwer zu erkennen.
Bible Reception in Islamic Art Stephan Prochazka, University of Vienna
*The paper will mainly deal with Islamic miniature painting of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Age. As Koranic manuscripts have never been illustrated the examples presented will be taken from other religious manuscripts, particularly the so-called “Stories of the Prophets”. On the one hand, these stories indirectly reflect the reception of the Bible through the Koran as the main themes are based upon the Muslim Holy Book. On the other hand, the numerous versions of these stories contain many details which are not present in the Koran itself. These are mostly taken directly from the Bible but often also reflect apocryphal ideas and concepts, which are sometimes also found on the paintings. Another and completely different field of Bible reception in Islamic art can be found in the realm of popular culture belonging to the 19th and 20th centuries. Themes taken from the Bible via the Koran have for long been popular subjects of glass paintings and posters, which sometimes are still sold on markets through the Middle East and North Africa.
The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics
9.7. 14:30-17:30 Prominentenzimmer
Object-Relations Theory and Children: A Winnicottian Reading of Ps 127:3-5 Melissa L. Reginelli, Vanderbilt University
In Psalm 127:3 children are called “a heritage from the Lord,” and “a reward.” The following two verses go on to describe children as “arrows in the hand of a warrior” (v. 4) and that with which a man fills his quiver (v. 5). On the surface, some may question the ethics and efficacy of comparing children to arrows or to any object intended for violence. In contrast, this paper follows psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott’s object-relations theory in order to argue that Psalm 127:3-5 advocates for a greater sense of love and respect for children by engaging them in object-relations. Object-relations theory posits that individuals relate to objects by first discovering them, then attempting to destroy them, and lastly loving them more if the objects survive (Winnicott: 2005, 115-124). Psalm 127 introduces, or discovers, children in v. 3 by portraying them as objects, specifically “a heritage from the Lord” and “a reward.” In v. 4 the text then attempts to destroy the concept of children by instrumentalizing them as arrows, which are intended to cause and undergo destruction. Rather than destroying them, though, v. 5 claims, “they [children] will not be put to shame when they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Regardless of whether the children confront their enemies at their own gate and successfully defend themselves (cf. Alter: 2007, 450), or the children traverse to their enemies’ gate and successfully defeat them (cf. Gen.22:17, Jud.5:8-11), the children ultimately receive a substantial blessing by surviving the attack. Thus, the discovery, attempted destruction, and resulting survival of children in Psalm 127:3-5 completes the process of object-relations. Read through this lens, the existence of object-relations in the text presents children as a strong and capable entity intended to receive love and respect.
Paul and Children: Problems in the Paradigm and Program of Paideia and Progress in 1 Corinthians Elizabeth Waldron Barnett, United Faculty of Theology
The appearances of children in Paul’s writings are taken to be largely metaphorical. These are conventionally interpreted through the lens of the ancient moral philosophers and models of paideia. Children are widely imaged in biblical commentary instrumentally as metaphors of ‘spiritual’ educational progress, often bearing the pejorative association of ‘failure to progress’ or as the example of what should be ‘put off’ or ‘left behind’ in the pursuit of ‘spiritual maturity’. This paper challenges assumptions of reading Paul’s ‘children’ only as educational instruments, cautioning against over-reading Western Enlightenment childhood aspirational values, and offers alternative models from the Pauline corpus for recognising children through a more nuanced and multivalent socio-historical lens. From this I propose a more subversive reading of some of the main ‘childhood’ texts, both for Paul’s first century cultural context and for our own, which I suggest offer a greater congruence with Paul’s cruciform and revealed gospel and the broader discursive intent of 1 Corinthians.
Gender and the Characterizations of Children as Agents in Ancient Apocryphal and Hagiographical Texts in the Christian and Islamic Traditions Cornelia B. Horn, Catholic University of America
This paper examines the characterizations of John the Baptist, Jesus, and Mary as children in selected apocryphal and hagiographical texts in ancient Christian and early Islamic sources. The data in the early Syriac and Arabic traditions, which offers the most suitable basis for a comparative approach to these two religious cultures in context, allows one to discern how gender stereotypes intersected with ideas about active and passive characterizations of children in relationships to their parents and other adults with whom they interacted. The paper argues that in a way that is similar to how modern mass media aim at shaping children’s perceptions of themselves and of the roles into which society expects them to grow, ancient religious literature that was produced to be both “useful and entertaining” reached out to the children in its audiences with the goal of promoting models for imitation. Whereas stereotypes for girls hardly ever left the realm of presenting the child as being obedient and docile, depictions of boys in these ancient religious texts moved about in a somewhat wider spectrum of characterizations. On the one hand, ideals of the male child also included promoting the child as a passive person. On the other hand, when the needs of the community’s current or future well-being required it, boys could be shown as resisting and actively overcoming adults’ preconceived expectations. Discerning the extent to which any of these characterizations and stereotypes still influence communities, in which these ancient religious texts continue to be consumed, and their attitudes towards children is a task of significant relevance in the modern world.
Absent Fathers, Fictive Kin: Repairing and Masking the Failure of Masculinity Steffan Mathias, King's College, London
Idealized imprints of genealogy, reproduction and fertility abound in the Hebrew bible, from the promises of descendants to Abraham in Genesis, to the edicts to pass down torah to one’s children in Deuteronomy. The valorization of women’s fertility has been well documented and critiqued by some feminist scholars; this paper seeks to widen the field and explore how men’s reproductive prowess is normalized, and how failures in masculinity are concealed and reimagined. The text suggests a norm in which lines of descent from male generation to male generation are maintained, and the passing on of ones name appears as a kind of continuation after death. Male non-production poses a threat to this chain, and destruction of offspring is cast as a threat in the afterlife (Isaiah 14:9-22, Jeremiah 11:19). Failures to reproduce are repaired by mechanisms such as levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10, Genesis 38, Ruth) and the erection of monuments (2 Samuel 18:18) or reconfigured in striking ways, such as YHWH’s promise to the eunuch (Isaiah 56). Drawing on Lee Edelman’s notion of ‘reproductive futurism’ and the resulting embrace in queer theory of ‘failure,’ this paper will emphasize how biblical ‘failures’ in masculinity are concealed and corrected, as well as being projected onto female characters and subjectivities. This will add additional critical lenses for thinking about masculinity, reproduction, and perpetuation of the male name in biblical texts, and will offer opportunities to further resist the coercion of biblical women into maternal roles.
For the Love of God (Parents) and Country: Nationalism in American Children's Bibles Benjamin Lindquist, University of Chicago
Though ostensibly set in the distant, biblical past, the mutability of children’s bibles provides an opportunity for writers, illustrators, and their publishers to reflect and comment on their own contemporary context. Invariably, children’s bibles contain the ideology of the people and nations who produce them. These bibles demonstrate a direct articulation of ideology, accessible to both children and their parents. My paper will explore how national ideology becomes embedded in children’s bibles, with the contention that the desires of adults are encoded in what they transmit to their children. Specifically, I will look at nationhood and nationalism as made manifest in American children’s bibles from the nineteenth century, focusing on families and genealogies as a means of exploring the relationship between religion and the nation state. Children’s bibles provide a particularly fertile ground for investigating the relationship between religion and the state. While contemporary children’s bibles increasingly attempt to represent pluralism as an ideal, I want to argue that many children’s bibles from the nineteenth century provide a model of an idealized Christian state. Though the phenomenon is certainly not limited to children’s bibles, one often finds therein an analogy between the nation and God’s chosen people of the Old Testament. These children's bibles present the child’s obedience to God as analogous to obedience towards parents, community leaders, and, finally, the nation. The church ostensibly produces obedient citizens and thus the authors of these texts draw a correlation between state and church. Through the genealogical representation of families, my paper will explicate the ways in which these bibles attempt to educate children not only into faith but also into society.
The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics
10.7. 8:30-11:30 HS 16
Constructing and Remembering Ancestors: Genealogies in Chronicles, Negotiating the Seen and Unseen in the Mnemonic Landscape and Cross-Cultural Considerations Ehud Ben Zvi, University of Alberta
This paper approaches the genealogies of Chronicles from a perspective informed by social memory, discusses the negotiation between the seen and unseen in the mnemonic landscape evoked by 1 Chr 1-9, which needless to say raises issues of gender, and concludes with a discussion of both cross-cultural considerations that underlie much of our approaches to the topic and their implications.
Reconsidering the Second Temple Discourse on Cross Marriage from the Angle of the Chronicles Genealogies Ingeborg Löwisch, Universiteit Utrecht
Which stance do the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9 take up over the contemporaneous discourse on cross marriage and foreign women/"the foreign woman"? And how does our picture of this discourse change if we consider literature that exceeds the classical canon on this matter, thus for example negotiating the positions of Ezra-Nehemiah and Ruth with viewpoints advanced in Wisdom literature such as Ben Sira, or in the comprehensive genealogy composition of 1 Chronicles 1-9? In the last decades, the perspective on which texts can be beneficially analysed with respect to the Second Temple discourse on cross marriage and foreign women has significantly broadened. At the same time, the debate on intersectionality in the Hebrew Bible has put the "mixed marriages" theme back on the agenda. In line with these developments, I suggest to read the Chronicles genealogies with its numerous references to cross marriages and foreigners, both male and female, as part of the discourse. On first sight, 1 Chronicles 1-9 includes foreign women without objection. Therefore, it has often been argued that the genealogies are inclusive in character. However, assessing 1 Chronicles 1-9 as inherently ideological text, I will argue that a more nuanced picture is possible and in order. Aiming at such a nuanced picture, I will analyse individual cases, such as the nameless Aramean secondary wife of Manasseh (1 Chron. 7.14), in the context of more general reflections on the functions of women, and especially (foreign) wives, in 1 Chronicles 1-9. Finally, I will assess both aspects, individual passages and broader patterns, to the end of locating 1 Chronicles 1-9 as distinct voice in this particular contemporaneous discourse.
Male Royals and Their Ethnically Foreign Mothers: The Implications for Textual Politics Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University & Universiteit van Amsterdam
The ancestry of male Judahite (and at times also Israelite) royals is set out in Samuel-Kings and Chronicles in detail. The main events and assessments of a king are most often delivered through a formula. Such formulas often include, for instance, not only a monarch's genealogy on his father's side, but also on the mother's side. And the mother may be a foreigner even if, perhaps even more so, when the genealogy on the father's side is clearly Davidic. This phenomenon, or some instance of it, may echo historical facts. However, beyond possible historicity, the question remains: what are the political and religious issues at stake, in a textual culture that alternately rejects and accepts ethnic exogamy? An analysis aimed at discussing this phenomenon in the light of memory and identity studies will follow a presentation of the relevant cases.
Judith's Genealogy: Subverting a Strict Theology of Retribution and Forging a New Identity in the Post-Exilic Era Helen Efthimiadis-Kei, University of KwaZulu-Natal
This paper takes its cue from genealogical theorists who argue for the subversive and rebellious functions of genealogies within political contexts. Drawing upon Van Henten’s view of Judith as an alternative leader to Moses and the author’s own work on Judith, the paper argues that Judith’s genealogy not only legitimates her as savior of her people, but also legitimates her deconstruction of the strict Deuteronomic/retributional theology which her people clearly espouse. Judith’s subversion of this law enables her not only to rise above the Judaean’s mentality and become their savior, but also frees God from the strictures which this law imposed on divine behavior. In the process, this wise woman teaches the faithful (but fearful) post-exilic community to think differently about themselves and their God, and to stand up and be counted in the face of various challenging, life-threatening situations.