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Monday, January 29, 2007

Structure and agency in JSNT

The new JSNT looks particularly big with what appears to be lots of reflection on Andrew Lincoln's commentary on John. But given the recent discussions on this blog I thought I'd mention what ought be a very interesting debate:

Zeba A. Crook, 'Structure versus Agency in Studies of the Biblical Social World: Engaging with Louise Lawrence' Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2007 29: 251-275

Louise J. Lawrence, 'Structure, Agency and Ideology: A Response to Zeba Crook', Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2007 29: 277-286

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thx for this. Downloaded both. I noticed from the abstract that they at least recognize that comprehensive models that include reference to agency are preferred.

Crook: "...this article questions whether the structure vs. agency debate in social theory can be settled by proclaiming (or presupposing) one over the other. Indeed, sociological theory has been moving towards recognizing that society, and alongside it culture, must include both."

And Lawrence apparently has to defend against Crook's characterizations of his view as an "‘all agency’ approach".

A radical structuralism that denies the role of agency is not only inadequate and outdated IMO, but self-refuting.

Alex

January 31, 2007

 
Blogger James Crossley said...

Yes I agree. It will be interesting to see what arguments they both come up with because there is a lot of potential for them to agree with one another. My own emphasis on structure and broader trends is because I think there has been an over-emphasis on the individual in the study Christian origins though I reckon most would agree on structure and agency questions in general. It would be interesting to see if there is anyone, when asked directly, would take a hard view on either side.

February 01, 2007

 

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