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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl) Textual criticism of TBOTSS
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 13:17:54 

> I definitely think it's easier than those, mostly because we have
> a single author at the bottom, that being Wolfe. 

I deeply agree with Anna June (and Adam) on this point.

> Bishop Spong (considered by many to be a 'heretic', which I
> think is a ridiculously anachronistic term)

It is an accurately descriptive term -- though I don't know whether
it applies to Spong in particular. Within the context of a community
of faith (Christian or otherwise), there are agreed-upon tenets;
they are defining of the faith community. Within the context of 
that community (and ONLY in that context), tenets which directly
or by strong implication contradict those community-defining tenets 
are "heresy." One who believes such tenets is a "heretic," and 
puts him- or herself outside the pale of the faith community.
One who teaches (or attempts to teach) such tenets to others in
the community is a "heresiarch," and is actively destructive of 
the community (at least in its present form; it is possible that 
the net result of such teaching will actually be a strengthened

Some examples: Abraham was a heretic in the context of polythestic 
Chaldaea; so were Peter, Paul, and the other Apostles in the 
context of monist Judaea; so was Martin Luther in the context of 
Roman Catholicism.

> [Spong] of the Episcopal Church has managed to explain the first 
> three Gospels in terms of the traditional Jewish liturgical year
> without straining the text

It seems quite likely to me -- again, I haven't read Spong, but 
the story as related in the synoptic Gospels is _deeply_ tied to
Second-Temple Jewish piety and liturgy. Many of the parables and
most of Jesus' encounters with the various priestly factions are
completely out of context if you don't understand that.

> In comparison, we know that Wolfe, as talented as he is, remains
> a single human being with - somewhere - a single writing goal,
> even if that/those goal(s) is/are unclear to us.

And here I must disagree, or refrain from agreement. It seems
very unlikely to me that Wolfe, or any other writer, has a
"single" goal in creating a work as complex as -- well, as any
reasonably-serious novel. (Disclaimer: I exempt from the term 
"reasonably-serious novel" (a) most potboiling pulp adventure 
novels and (b) most "yellow-journalist" novels like THE OCTOPUS 
and THE JUNGLE -- "most" because there are exceptions, books in
both categories that exceed the minimal requirements of their


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