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Monday, 13 June 2016
Keith's Conclusions III

Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity,
Tom Thatcher ed., SBL, 2014, page 180

Keith's third conculsion concerns the manuscript's ability to reflect identity:

One cannot physically see and touch oral tradition. Oral tradition thus cannot play the visual and aesthetic roles in reading communities - in particular in liturgical settings - that a physical manuscriot is capable of playing. Furthermore, one can craft a aterial artifect in order to reflect group identity, whereas one cannot (to state the obvious) physically shape oral tradition.

A manuscript can be decorated, put in a cover, read by candlelight and its perfomance surrounded by spoken and physical liturgy; imagine trying to do the same for an oral tradition. Notice, however, that this does not devalue personal testimony, sharing or oral delivery in their appropriate contexts.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:11am Comment Comments: 0