The daughter of Jeftah died? (Was: David to Liz)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at mclink.it
Tue Jun 4 09:28:48 EDT 2002


>> It means that we have a means of locating the writing in time.
>> We know who wrote the text and why. By "who" I mean that we
>> have some idea of the writer as a cultural entity. By "why" I
>> mean that we have some idea of the motivation behind the
>> production of the text. It is not a matter of signing a name,
>> but of knowing the context of the production of a text. If a
>> text cannot be contextualised, it doesn't mean that the
>> writer(s) wrote fiction, but that it cannot be treated as
>> historical information.
>
>Why? Your last sentence does not follow. Why do we need to know the context
>in order to treat it as historical information? 

What makes historical information? One factor is that it can be 
related to the period it claims to talk about. Contextualisation 
is relating it to the period through various means.

You may treat any information as historical if you are not 
committed to coherent criteria that states what historical 
information can be. This treatment is personal and of little 
use to anyone else.

So, please read the statement you were commenting on as saying 
something like

>> it doesn't mean that the
>> writer(s) wrote fiction, but that a historian cannot treat 
>> it as historical information.


Ian


>Now, if you wanted to say
>that in order to treat the text not as *reporting* historical fact but of
>indicating perceptions and theologies of the time of the writer, then yes,
>we need to place it in its context, but not if one is arguing that it is
>historical fact. Not that *I* would ever do such a thing... ;-)






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