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Sunday, 5 June 2016
A Perfect Storm

Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity,
Tom Thatcher ed., SBL, 2014, page 172-173

Dr Keith points out there is remarkable agreement (on at least point) between Kelber and Assmann. Kelber posits the textualisation of Mark around forty years after the death of Yeshua and in the aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem in70 CE. Assmann posits the transfer from biographic memory to cultural memory at the same forty year interval. This notes, Keith records:

the perfect storm of Assmann's Traditionsbruch model and Kelber's prior ideas, which combine into a seemingly formidable explanation for the textualisation of Markan tradition. In particular, one may note the shared emphasis of a crisis of communicative memory at the forty-year mark and an experience of violence that threatens group identity.

We can see similar issues at work, although the forty-year time-scale is absent, in the process leading to the codification of the Mishnah around 200 CE. Perviously resistant to any writte representation of the Oral law, Rabbi Judah the Prince was able to justify committing the tradition to writing due to the threat of its being lost in the hostile environment of Roman persecution, the death of the generations of tana'im and the possible loss of Jewish identity in the Land of Israel as Jew were expelled and others from the nations replaced them.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:07am Comment Comments: 0