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Semeia 65: Orality and Textuality in Early Christian Literature

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Semeia is an experimental journal devoted to the exploration of new and emergent areas and methods of biblical criticism. Studies employing the methods, models, and findings of linguistics, folklore studies, contemporary literary criticism, structuralism, social anthropology, and other such disciplines and approaches, are invited. Although experimental in both form and content, Semeia proposes to publish work that reflects a well defined methodology that is appropriate to the material being interpreted.

Resource Experts
  • Key perspectives on biblical criticism
  • Includes bibliographies and index

Top Highlights

“In the past three decades, the basic presuppositions of communications research have been applied to the history of orality and literacy, above all by Walter Ong. Building on the work of McLuhan, Milmann Perry, Albert Lord, and Eric Havelock, Ong has traced the impact of changes in communications technology throughout the history of human civilization (Farrell: 25–43).” (Page 8)

“Furthermore, Kelber’s picture of orality and literacy in early Christianity (1983) widens the chasm between the communicators of the oral gospel—Jesus and his nonliterate followers, particularly Peter—and the more literate authors of the written gospel, such as Mark. Thus, the watershed between oral and written communications systems is presently located between Jesus and the traditions of the church.” (Page 10)

“The first libraries of manuscripts designed to facilitate reading and study appear in classical Athens during the fourth century.” (Page 12)

“ marks of oral culture were always present and remained central for the majority of persons.” (Page 13)

  • Thomas E. Boomershine
  • Arthur J. Dewey
  • Joanna Dewey
  • John Miles Foley
  • Martin S. Jaffee
  • Werner H. Kelber
  • Vernon K. Robbins
  • Bernard Brandon Scott
  • Richard F. Ward
  • Antoinette Clark Wire
  • Title: Semeia 65: Orality and Textuality in Early Christian Literature
  • Editor: Joanna Dewey
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 218

Joanna Dewey is Harvey H. Guthrie Jr. Professor Emerita of Biblical Studies at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has written numerous articles and is the author of Markan Public Debate (1980) and a coauthor of Mark as Story 3rd ed. (2012).


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Print list price: $24.95
Save $19.96 (80%)