Anthropology and the Bible – Emanuel Pfoh

I’m quite excited!  Emanuel Pfoh’s edited volume Anthropology and the Bible: Critical Perspectives (Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2010) arrived today!  This is quite the read and I hope to dive right in sometime within the next week or so.  Review is forthcoming.  Judging from the ToC this book already looks ambitious, but with contributors like Emanuel himself, as well as Niels Peter Lemche, David Chalcraft, Anne Katrine Gudme, Philippe Guillaume, Eveline van der Steen, and Philippe Wajdenbaum, there is no doubt that it has exceeded its original potential.  Here is a snippet from Gorgias Press:

The papers in this anthology represent the proceedings of the Anthropology and the Bible session from the European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting held in Lincoln, UK (July 2009). The main aim of the session is to foster critical uses of social anthropology for reading biblical scholarship and ancient Near Eastern studies related to the Bible as well. The papers of this volume reflect all these perspectives and stand as a critical renewal of the uses of anthropology and sociology in biblical scholarship in distinction to social-science approaches.

And the ToC:

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 9)
  • List of Contributors (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
    • Introduction: Anthropology and the Bible Revisited (page 15)
      • Presentation (page 15)
      • Anthropology, Sociology and the Bible in the 19th and 20th Centuries (page 16)
      • Contributions (page 21)
  • Method (page 25)
    • Anthropology and Biblical Studies:A Critical Manifesto (page 27)
      • Anthropology as a Main Analytical Perspective for the Historian (page 27)
      • Interpretive Strategies: Emic and Etic in Biblical Interpretation (page 31)
        • 1) Emic Perspectives (page 32)
          • 1.1. Literal Readings (page 32)
          • 1.2. Rationalistic Paraphrases (page 33)
          • 1.3. A Contextual Approach (a): From Within the Text (page 33)
        • 2) Etic Perspectives (page 35)
          • 2.1. A Contextual Approach (page 35)
          • 2.2. An Historical Anthropological Perspective (page 36)
            • 2.2.1. An anthropology of the dynamics of political power (page 37)
            • 2.2.2. An anthropology of Palestines ethnicities (page 38)
            • 2.2.3. A socio-anthropology of Palestines religious imagination and practices (page 39)
            • 2.2.4. An anthropology of Palestines economics (page 40)
            • 2.2.5. An anthropology of the biblical mythic universe (page 41)
      • The Social Background of Texts and of the Interpreters of Texts (page 42)
        • 1) The Original Interpreters (page 42)
        • 2) The Received View (page 43)
        • 3) The Historiographical Context of Biblical Studies (page 43)
    • Is Sociology Also Among the Social Sciences? Some Personal Reflections on Sociological Approaches in Biblical Studies (page 49)
      • 1. Is Sociology Also a Social Science? (page 49)
      • 2. Sociology Unique Amongst the Social Sciences (page 52)
      • 3. Epistemological and Ontological Differences (page 57)
      • 4. The Differences Made By and to the Social Science Used and the Need to Report Back (page 59)
      • 5. The Body of Theory and Creativity (page 60)
      • 6. The Sociological Imagination and Grounded Theory (page 62)
      • 7. The Sociological Vocation (page 67)
      • 8. Two Essential Components of the Sociological Imagination (page 69)
        • 8.1. The Social as Significant Variable (page 69)
        • 8.2. The Nature of Modernity (page 70)
      • 9. Ideal Types, Comparative Historical Research and the Sociology of Texts: a Neo-Weberian Approach (page 73)
      • 10. Finallyƒ Sociology and Reception History of the Bible (page 76)
      • Bibliography (page 77)
    • Modes of Religion: An Alternative to Popular/Official Religion (page 89)
  • Criticism (page 103)
    • Avraham Faust, Israels Ethnogenesis, and Social Anthropology (page 105)
  • Case Studies (page 117)
    • The Hidden Benefits of Patronage: Debt (page 119)
      • Antichresis (page 124)
      • Plentiful Land (page 125)
      • Illusory Usury (page 127)
      • Patronage (page 130)
      • Debt: The Ethnographic View (page 130)
      • Debt: An Essential Ingredient of Patronage (page 132)
      • Inequality and Reciprocity (page 138)
    • David as a Tribal Hero: Reshaping Oral Traditions (page 139)
      • Bibliography (page 147)
    • Jacob and David, the Bibles Literary Twins (page 149)
  • Index of Authors (page 171)
  • Index of References (page 177)


“If Ikea Made Instructions for Everything” >> CollegeHumor

Awesome.  Check out the rest!

“If Ikea Made Instructions for Everything” by Caldwell Tanner and Susanna Wolff on CollegeHumor.

The Sun blasts out a flare and a huge filament >> Bad Astronomy

I do always enjoy Phil Plait’s blog.  In line with the ongoing discussion on this blog, I thought I’d share something pretty cool from his:

Wow! So what are we seeing here?

SDO views the Sun in many wavelengths, and in this case we’re looking at ultraviolet light form the Sun so energetic it’s almost X-rays. The bright spot is actually a sunspot! They’re dark in the kind of light we see with our eyes* but can be very bright at other wavelengths. Sunspots are regions of intense magnetic field concentration; magnetic loops arc out of the spot, reach into space, then head back down. They seethe with vast amounts of energy, which can be released explosively under some conditions.

That’s what happened here. The magnetic field loops in Sunspot 1123 suddenly and cataclysmically released all their energy in the early morning of November 12, blasting it outward as a solar flare — you can see that as the intense flash of light coming from the bright region in the center of the video. This explosive event also launched a streamer of plasma off the Sun’s surface, flowing outward along the Sun’s magnetic field. Although the plasma is very hot, we see it silhouetted against the Sun’s surface, so it looks dark. This type of streamer is called a filament (had we seen it against the darkness of space, it would look bright, and be called a prominence). You can see it heading roughly in our direction at the end of the video. Don’t worry though, it won’t hit us!

via The Sun blasts out a flare and a huge filament | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine.

Definitely continue reading.  It’s pretty awesome (but also kinda scary!).

SETI Astronomers Launch New Campaign in Search of Extraterrestrial Life

I have always been fascinated with SETI.  To be clear, in light of my recent posts on Atlantis and aliens, I would never say that there is no possibility of life on other worlds.  In fact, The Drake Equation is hard to refute; we’re finding that it is rather conservative (we have been finding more habitable planets for life in the past year than we thought probably ten years ago).  This recent campaign is quite useful, considering that we have better equipment now than they had 50 years ago.  I hope we find something; how cool would that be?

In a vast cosmic experiment equivalent to hitting “redial,” astronomers in a dozen countries are aiming telescopes to listen in once again on some of the stars that were part of the world’s first search for alien life 50 years ago.

The coordinated signal-searching campaign began this month to mark the 50th anniversary of Project Ozma, a 1960 experiment that was christened the world’s first real attempt in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence or SETI.

Like Project Ozma, which got its name from a character in L. Frank Baum’s series of books about the Land of Oz, the new search is called Project Dorothy.

via SETI astronomers launch new campaign – Technology & science – Space – –

Calvin on Taking Phone Messages

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