Daily Gleanings: Articles (5 June 2019)

Benjamin Giffone has an interesting article in the most recent issue of the European Journal of Theology, entitled “Technologising of Word and Sacrament: Deuteronomy 14:24–26 and Intermediation in Worship.” According to the abstract,

This paper explores the effects of introducing intermediating technologies into worship, through the lens of media ecology. Just like ‘writing is a technology that restructures thought’ (Walter Ong), so other human technologies restructure the meaning of worship. The codex permitted a defined scriptural canon to be promulgated and accepted in the early church. The ancient Israelites were required to offer both raw materials (live animals) and offerings that were transformed through human labour and technology (grain cakes, wine). Deuteronomy 14:24-26 introduces the intermediating technology of trade into the sacrificial process. The invention of unfermented grape juice in the nineteenth century and its use in the Eucharist necessitated the use of individual cups. These intermediations transform the worshippers’ understanding of communion with God in both positive and negative ways. Scripture and church history offer contemporary churches resources to wrestle with the transformative effects of electronic technologies on worship and engagement with Scripture.

Benj also offers to send the full article to those who request it by email if they can’t access it already through an existing subscription or database.


Cambridge Core has an interesting essay by Collin Cornell on intersection between Brevard Childs and Julius Wellhausen. Cornell’s fuller essay on the topic is also openly available from the Harvard Theological Review. According to the abstract,

Julius Wellhausen proposed a “sharp break” between ancient Israelite religion and early Judaism: for him, the eighth-century prophets were the “spiritual destroyers of old Israel” and the forerunners of early Judaism. The biblical theologian Brevard Childs rejected Wellhausen’s reconstruction and insisted instead that “very strong theological continuity” characterized the development of Israelite religion from its outset. Numerous contemporary theological interpreters share Childs’s perspective. However, a “Wellhausen renaissance” is currently underway in the study of Israelite religion and early Judaism. This situation poses an unresolved challenge for theological interpretation, at least of the kind that Childs advocated. The present article addresses this dilemma. It first inventories Childs’s reasons for opposing Wellhausen’s sharp break, which emerge from Childs’s vision for scriptural “theo- referentiality.” Secondly, it tests whether Childs’s theological insights, the very same that led to his repudiation of Wellhausen, might accommodate Wellhausen’s historical claim. The final result is to set Wellhausen and Childs, historical reconstruction and theological interpretation, in a noncompetitive relationship.

HT: theLAB

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