Sunday, 3 July 2016
Religion and Cultural Memory (tr. Rodney Livingstone),
Jan Assmann, Stanford University Press, 2006, page 20
Assmann concludes that Deuteronomy has a threefold lesson to teach:
First ... the aim is to establish a bonding memory that can withstand changed circumstancs and that must be stabilised counterfactually through the use of a memory technique.
For a memory to endure through times of challenge, persecution and - someimes - simply time, it must have staying power and that, Assmann suggests, is built and maintained by commemorative events, ritual and actions that enable the people to bond both to the memory and to each other in that memory. Commentators have suggested that John's gospel served in this way for the early Christians when they were ejected from the synagogue in Ephesus.