Now We are Ten

April 13, 2004 | 11 comments
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We’re very happy to add another name to the list on the right of the page. Julie Smith, whose stint as a guest-blogger included terrific posts like The Talk I’ve Never Given and Why We Doze in Sunday School, has agreed to continue casting her pearls before, well, us. We hope that with two women speaking, Times and Seasons will seem more like General Conference. [ ;>)]

Welcome, Julie!!

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11 Responses to Now We are Ten

  1. Kaimi on April 13, 2004 at 6:24 pm

    Welcome aboard, Julie — I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  2. William Morris on April 13, 2004 at 6:34 pm

    Julie:

    If you feel so inclined and when you have the time, I would love to hear your thoughts on and about your experiences at the GTU. I don’t really have any specific questions in this regard — just a vague curiousity about the place.

  3. Dave on April 13, 2004 at 6:42 pm

    Congratulations Julie. T&S is really on a roll this week. Yes, do share some of your GTU experiences.

  4. Greg Call on April 13, 2004 at 6:56 pm

    Welcome, Julie!

  5. Jim F. on April 13, 2004 at 8:02 pm

    It is great to have another person on this blog who has scripture for a hobby horse. Welcome.

  6. Davis Bell on April 13, 2004 at 9:10 pm

    As long as Kristine is commenting on the makeup of the bloggers, I’m curious as to why (I think) all the permabloggers are married. Just wondering.

  7. John David Payne on April 13, 2004 at 9:41 pm

    Why are they married? Because they’re cool. Everybody’s getting married these days. It’s the cool thing to do.

    Welcome, Julie!

  8. Julie in Austin on April 14, 2004 at 1:12 am

    Hmm–the GTU. Going there was worth it if only because I was able to get student housing and pay 324$/month for a huge apartment with hardwood floors, a view of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, 1/2 block from UC Berkeley campus, and this in the late 90′s.

    Seriously, I picked it because I wanted to work with Anne Wire, who had written very interesting things about Paul and women. She was my thesis advisor and great to work with. Also on my cmte: Mary Ann Tolbert (works on Mark and women) and John Donahue (works on Mark). If you compare the GTU to a religion dept. at any university, you realize the main advantage of the GTU quickly: it’s big. Huge. Anywhere else, I would have been lucky to have one cmte. member that did New Testament, let alone three whose main work was so similar to what I wanted to do.

    The disadvantage is that everyone is a grad student. You don’t get to feel special. And on rare occasions, MA level courses are taught by TAs. Yuck. (But how else will the PhD students get any teaching experience?)

    Another advantage is the reciprocity with UC Berkeley. Their library was wonderful. I could have taken classes there. I wanted to study Coptic (which they offered and the GTU didn’t) and write my thesis on the Gospel of Mary, but they only offered it every other year, and I couldn’t have finished in time. (In retrospect, I am glad that I did a canonical text.)

    As far as being LDS there, much less of an issue than one might imagine. (There were two other LDS students while I was there: a Ludlow who ended up at BYU-Hawaii and a woman doing LDS sociology). Because I worked mostly with literary criticism, which regards the text as its own universe (that is, if we are reading Mark, we are thinking of it as a *story* and don’t care what Matthew has to add to our understanding of the historical event), LDS issues were not terribly relevent. Side note: only a few years later did I finally figure out what was up with the JST in my passage (Mark 14:3-9) and had I known it at the time, would definitely wanted it to be a chapter or appendix to my thesis. I have no idea how this would have gone over with my cmte., because we never discussed LDS stuff.

    Personally, my experience there strengthened my relationship to the church as an institution. This is because by hanging around Presbyterians, I saw what happens when you dismiss biblical inerrancy *and* prophetic authority: you have nothing left. I sat through discussions about the legitimacy of NAMBLA (if you don’t know, you don’t want to) because if we can’t trust biblical injunctions against such things, and we don’t have modern revelation, well, why not? I realized the need for modern prophets; the alternative is the need for claiming biblical inerrancy (yuck) or abandoning all moral authority.

    I didn’t have many missionary moments, although I did get to explain (under duress) LDS concepts of chastity and marriage to a lesbian and I was asked by a Nigerian PhD student for a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited to Nigeria to teach. If I hadn’t been about to get married, I may have gone.

    I loved what I learned about the scriptures. Loved it. I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world.

    Probably more than you wanted to know.

  9. Susan on April 14, 2004 at 1:21 am

    Julie, I’m not sure these are the only choices: biblical inerrancy, modern prophets, or nothing. But thanks so much for your description of of Berkely. And please tell me more about the JST version of the Mark passage. . . . . . I’m very interested in anything to be said about Joseph’s New Translation.

  10. Julie in Austin on April 14, 2004 at 1:36 am

    Well, there’s a JST on Mark 14:8. I didn’t pay much attention to it while I was in school, because it seemed to just reiterate wording from the verse, and I was supposed to be working on literary criticism of Mark, anyway.

    But it nagged me, and a few years later, I was bored in stake conference and started doodling. Chiasmus:

    A she hath done what she could . . . remembrance
    B in generations to come
    C wheresoever . . . preached
    D verily she has come beforehand
    E to anoint my body
    D’ verily I say unto you
    C’ wheresoever . . . preached
    B’ throughout the whole world
    A’ this also that she hath done . . . for a memorial

    What I like about this:

    (1) his words return the focal point of the passage to her anointing, not the objection

    (2) the verily statements in D and D’ parallel her actions with his words. Cool.

    (3) Think about that C and C’ line for a minute. We might debate whether this is a commandment of a prophecy ( I vote commandment), but the message is that this story–which you never, never, NEVER hear about–should be told wherever the gospel is preached.

    (4) The B and B’ lines make a nice time/space parallel.

    (5) The idea of Joseph Smith either creating or restoring a chiasmus to the text is interesting.

  11. Susan on April 14, 2004 at 3:28 am

    Julie, thanks for posting this. I agree this is a very interesting addition. I did a quick check and discovered that Joseph made additions to this same story in both Matthew and John. In Matthew he adds to 26:13 “And in this thing that she hath done, she shall be blessed.” To John 12:7 he changes “against the day of my burying hath she kept this” to “for she hath preserved this ointment until now, that she might anoint me in token of my burial.” I think this change in John is particularly interesting. I’m not exactly sure the point at which he made these additions (the scribblings I could find in my notes tonight on the dating are a bit obscure, apparently his first pass here was in early 1832, he may have made a second pass later). It does seem that Joseph is potentially interested here in an act and ritual which eventually finds its way into the anointing rituals in the Kirtland temple. He is certainly valorizing this act in a very interesting way. Attending to narratives involving women always stands out–not always that much to go on.