Sunday, July 06, 2003

I'M BACK. We got in after 11:30 last night. Venice was glorious � I grew up in San Diego and anywhere with warm weather immediately feels like home to me. Venice a fascinating city and I wish I had had more time to explore it. But duty called and much of the time was spent (as one conference spouse commented) in a small room with sixty other people discussing a guy who died five thousand years ago � or maybe he didn't. I had hoped that my comments on apocalyptic (see below, "The Animal Apocalypse and Daniel") would goad people into explaining in more detail what they meant by the term, but mostly they continued using it without comment. John Collins did disagree with me in his response to the papers of the first session, but when we discussed it later it developed that we actually pretty much agreed after all and the misunderstanding arose over my insufficiently informative abstract of the paper, which was all he had seen before the session. He also pointed out that the Book of the Watchers did not work well as an example, since in fact it is fairly interested in eschatology. This is a fair point, so replace it with the core of 3 Enoch (1-15/16, which appears in a separate unit in some MSS). I think some of the Nag Hammadi apocalypses work too; I'll try to dig up another example or two later. Anyway, it was an excellent conference and many thanks to Gabriele Boccaccini, Harold Ellens, and the others who made it all happen.

Lots more came up in the Seminar and if I think of other interesting bits I'll post them. I haven't been able to bring myself to look at the backlog of e-mail in my account yet. I've also been away from the news all week, but I'll try to catch up on everything today. Meanwhile, I'll just note that the Baghdad Museum is still a dangerous place:

British journalist killed in Baghdad (USA Today)

BAGHDAD (AP) � A British journalist was shot and killed outside the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad on Saturday, witnesses said.

The identity of the journalist, a freelance television producer, was not immediately known. Fellow journalists, asking that their names not be used, said the male journalist was outside museum when he was shot.

Britain's ITN television news said it believed the man previously had worked as a researcher for the network but was not employed by them when he was shot.


Ambushes, shootings and other attacks, blamed on loyalists of Saddam Hussein, have plagued American soldiers in Iraq in recent weeks � but so far there has been no sign of journalists being explicitly targeted. An American soldier guarding the museum was shot and killed by a sniper on Thursday.


More presently.

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