February 22nd, 2005


Theological Notebook--More Work on the Apocalyptic

Well, Andre Orlov gave me back the Odes of Solomon paper that I'd been dreading he'd rip up as slipshod work. Turns out what I thought he would think was me trying to con an A out of him with a paper that featured more words than needed for its ideas, he figured was an "A+" paper that now he tells me I have to:
a) publish.
b) re-write (well, not in this order), and
c) deliver at this fall's Society of Biblical Literature conference.

So now I imagine a scenario where, after reading my paper, the best people in this field of apocalyptic literature are asking me questions and I have to say, "Um... I'm actually a systematic theologian, and everything I know about this field I just read to you. So... no more questions?

Oi. So I guess I'll have to learn a lot more, if this scenario actually plays out. Andre thinks that I made some good connections, linking the Odes and the book of Revelation in ways that had escaped notice, and particularly that I'm digging out a kind of transformational mysticism in early Jewish Christianity that has gone unremarked. He also was wild about connections I noticed to Jewish "throne" or "merkavah" mysticism (focusing on the image of the throne of God) in this early Jewish Christian text. So I have to study his notes and try to clean up the puppy: just when I thought I was done with it....

Still, if I can get it published, all the better for my job applications a few years down the line. And all the better for me figuring out how to write publishable scholarship consistently. I want to get to that blessed point where I don't think it's a big deal. Right now, it's a big deal. Such a beginner.
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