Friday, January 18, 2019

Affect Theory and Ancient Texts

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: The Codex of Feeling: Affect Theory and Ancient Texts (Donovan Schaefer).
It would seem I am the least qualified person in this forum about Maia Kotrosits’ book to speak to the quality of her Biblical scholarship, so this response will be dictated from a theory cave. ...
Now I know there is a thing called "Affect Theory." It sounds like a slippery, but promising, concept.

A nation is a tangle of forces fused by the force of affect. There is, then, no pure nation, but instead only a slapdash set of parameters for feeling a nation into existence. This is the milieu within which ancient texts are created, and understanding their affective dimension is the avenue Kotrosits proposes to discern how they make meaning. In particular, Kotrosits uses the affect approach to displace a binary frame of Christian vs Jewish identity in ancient sources. ...
This is another paper presented in the review panel on Maia Kotrosits’s Rethinking Early Christian Identity: Affect, Violence, and Belonging (Fortress, 2015) at the 2018 Construction of Christian Identities SBL seminar. Background here.

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