Harry Gamble, Books and Readers in the Early Church, Introduction

I have written several posts for my friend Yuri regarding the various roles that speech and words take in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (so far parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a, and 6b — together with a post on texts and another on oceanic models of causation in The Brothers Karamazov). This project has forced me to read Harry Y. Gamble’s Books and Readers in the Early Church a bit more closely. Gamble deals with questions of orality and literacy in ways that bear directly upon the arguments I was making in response to questions I was asking; since he intervenes in a wide and deep stream of pivotal scholarly research on the relationship between orality and literacy, close attention to his work is very rewarding. 

Therefore, here is an introduction to the book, to be followed by posts concerning each of the five chapters, each with some critical analysis from scholarly reviews, and my own impressions.  Continue reading

The Shepherd of Hermas Concerning Orality, Writing, and the Role of the Heart (“Some Baseless Speculations about…”, Part 6b)

For Yuri. Continued from parts onetwothreefourfive, and six-a (6a).

Part six will need to be broken up into sections, so that I can release them at all, given that my workday is now 14 hrs long, with 1.5 hrs of commuting. After I am finished with the course I’ve laid out here, I’ll post them together in either a summary or a collection. 

Across these sections of the sixth post, I thought it was wise to linger over the transition from the earliest writings in the New Testament vis-à-vis our themes of writing vs. speaking, the role of the heart, and the nature of basically prophetic or oracular speech –particularly the writings of St. Paul in the years following A.D. 50 and 60– towards the third and fourth century. Continue reading

Papias of Hierapolis on Writings vs. a Living Voice (“Some Baseless Speculations about…”, Part 6a)

For Yuri. Continued from parts onetwothreefour, and five.

Part six will need to be broken up into sections, so that I can release them at all, given that my workday is now 14 hrs long, with 1.5 hrs of commuting. After I am finished with the course I’ve laid out here, I’ll post them together in either a summary or a collection. 

Across these sections of the sixth post, I thought it was wise to linger over the transition from the earliest writings in the New Testament vis-à-vis our themes of writing vs. speaking, the role of the heart, and the nature of basically prophetic or oracular speech –particularly the writings of St. Paul in the years following A.D. 50 and 60– towards the third and fourth century. Continue reading

Some Baseless Speculations about Christianity and Words and Speaking and Writing, With Regard to Hearts, and Regarding Dostoyevsky, Clumsily Conceived, Part 5

For Yuri. Continued from parts one, two, three, and four. Largely a preface to part six. 

Continue reading