fredag, augusti 10, 2007

Mitt doktorandarbete - presentation

För de som undrar vad mitt doktorandarbete handlar om, är min frågeställning på engelska formulerad just nu på följande sätt:

Isaiah 65:17-66:24 and the Jewish Apocalyptic Genre

The primary question in my project is: how shall the genre in Isa. 65:17-66:24 be characterized? In what degree is it a prophetic text and/or an apocalyptic text (or at least protoapocalyptic text)? Can Isa 65:17–66:24 be considered apocalyptic, even if it does not comply fully to a defined corpus of writings between 280 B.C.E to 280 C.E? If the text can be described as apocalyptic in some degree, what then is the intertextual relationship to other “apocalyptic” texts in the Book of Isaiah? And further, how have the theological questions and themes of Isa 65:17–66:24 been developed by Jewish writers in the historical and social context of apocalypticism? In other words, what decides a particular genre? Can a genre be limited to a particular period of time? And if not, how does that affect the charactization of Isa 65:17–66:24?

Thus, the aim of my dissertation is to (1) investigate the genre of Isa. 65:17–66:24 and possible setting behind the text, (2) analyze the literary construction of Isa. 65:17-66:24 and how its language and themes relate intertextually to other passages in the Book of Isaiah, and (3) discuss different themes in 65:17-66:24 and their theological relationship to full-blown Jewish apocalyptic thought. The key words in this project are continuity and relationship, and the issue will be if and how the Isaianic tradition in Isa 65:17–66:24 has influenced the process behind the origin of Jewish apocalyptic.

Biblical scholars do not agree as to the historical purpose and origin of Isa 56-66, and how exactly its literary context is to be defined. However, there is a strong growing consensus regarding the ideological unity of the whole book of Isaiah. I have therefore chosen as starting point for this research what seems to be the most stable thing regarding the Book of Isaiah, the text itself, rather than basing my research on some presupposed socio-historical event behind the text. For that reason I am looking for a text-oriented methodology, suitable for this project. I will of course also take careful notice of recent archaeological advances, such as greater understanding of the situation in Palestine during the exile and post-exile era, as such knowledge is also necessary in fulfilling the aims described above. Thus, even if this research is principally about genre and theology, the following questions are also relevant: what can new research about the situation in Palestine during the exilic and post-exilic period contribute to my understanding of the genre and theology of Isa 65:17-66:24 and its relationship to Jewish apocalyptic literature?

To summarize, this research is about the form and theological message of Isa 65:17-66:24. This text is wrapped in genre, and the question is how to characterize it. In what degree does it contain apocalypticism (an ideology or world view)? Certainly apocalypticism is about deep convictions, and it defines certain believers’ morals, values and identity. Can apocalypticism therefore simply be defined as a social movement, or has it deeper theological causes, influenced among other by Isaianic tradition? If the answer to these questions are positive, then Isa 65:17–66:24 can possibly help us understand better how the Isaianic tradition theologically influenced this mysterious worldview.
Man får ta denna beskrivning för vad det är, något som förändras under arbetets gång. Jag funderar exempelvis nu på att förlänga jesajatexten till att omfattar hela kap 65-66. En del historiska frågor kommer att ställas, men mitt huvudintresse är textens genre och budskap, inte hypotetiska historiska bakgrunder till textens uppkomst.

Hela jesajaboken är intressant för mig, därför kommer jag att göra textutläggningar på jesajatexter här på bloggen. Kortare bokreferat lär nog också dyka upp här. Jag kommer däremot inte belasta er kära läsare med detaljer kring avhandlingsarbetet.

"När är du klar?" är frågan som ofta ställs till mig. Med Herrens hjälp (och med min frus och mina tre barns tålamod) hoppas jag vara klar någon gång under 2009 ... men vi får se. Det är så många faktorer som skall funka för att något sådant skall vara möjligt.

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