Novak (novak) wrote,

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Theological Notebook: The Odes of Solomon, back for more action

Well, I've been trying to do a little more work on my bibliography for Fr. Fahey, but I wasn't able to get to it until after midnight when I broke for dinner after spending all day working on an old essay. My Fall '04 paper for Andrei Orlov, which really happened in February '05 because I was so sick from surgical complications, is now beginning its transmogrification into a paper that (I hope!) I'll be presenting at the national conference of the Society for Biblical Literature (as per my March 1st entry). As I wrote there, the abstract for the paper currently reads:
The Odes of Solomon are generally categorized among the early Jewish-Christian writings of Christian apocrypha. They are a lyrics-book of early Christian worship and praise songs, and give us a glimpse into the earliest stages of both Christian worship and developing Christian understandings about the recent advent of the Messiah. As a matter of genre, they are easily discussed in terms of liturgical texts, poetry, musical lyrics, and the like. This examination reveals that the Odes are filled with the themes of apocalyptic literature, despite the fact that they are almost never identified as apocalyptic in scholarship. Beyond that, this study of motifs within the text reveals that the Odes are best understood as a transitional text from apocalypticism to merkabah mysticism, as the apocalyptic content of the Odes merges into the other genre. This study then not only provides a new and more clear reading of the Odes themselves, but also contributes to an understanding of the relationship between apocalyptic literature and merkabah mysticism.
I am finally scheduled to present it to the Seminar on the Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism on Thursday at 6pm, which will likely make it interfere with Dan's desire to have me go hear some editor named Goldberg from National Review speak at 7:00, which would definitely interfere with my original plan to go hear an historian from Yale give the Casper Lecture “Thinking it Through: Chinese and Catholics in the 17th Century” at 7:30.

Could I ask for more drama?

Anyway, I was working on that most of my waking moments today, including designing handouts for the audience on Thursday so that they would have my killer chart of evidence from my essay in hand, along with all the citations I make from the book of Revelation and the various Odes of Solomon. (Revelation provides parallel texts in the form of worship songs embedded in the book.) I figured such a handout would make the presentation much more successful. So I missed phone calls from Angie Brunner-DeWeese, Mom, and Dan, all of whom certainly deserved better. (Mom, I think I do have a schedule conflict and things for this weekend might not work out after all: I might have to postpone until your next weekend off.) (Yes, my Mom reads my LiveJournal: isn't she hip?)
Tags: apocalyptic literature, biblical studies, books, family, friends-marquette era, friends-niu era, historical, jewish mysticism, marquette, patristics, personal, teachers, theological notebook, writing

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