Abstracts numero 2002/3

Articles varia

  • - Qu’est-ce que le Nouveau Testament ?
  • This is the text from a lecture taking up the challenge of encompassing in a fifty minute analysis the various modes of preaching and teaching the New Testament that have been produced over the past 50 years. First the author deals with the book per se (titles, manuscripts sources, dates, places, idioms) ; he proceeds by surveying the various componentsas if they were musical instruments in an orchestra. As a result we are met with two ensembles, the Epistles of the Apostles, the recitatives from the Gospels, and two soloists, the Revelation of John the Apostle and the Acts of the Apostles. One cannot but be struck by the fragility, the arbitrariness of such an incomplete work and by the irresistible power it owns : the power of the Gospel which weaves the words of Jesus about the Kingdom of God with the words of the apostles about Jesus. Such a dynamics recalls that of the universe : there is an extremely dense mucleus, where its influence originates, which alternatingly attracts or repels (as with the Apocryphas).

  • - La crédibilité du « moi je suis » dans l’Évangile de Jean
  • If the christian faith stresses the bond between human subjects rather than the individual subject alone, the question is how to give a credit of trust to the other. As for Christ, we have to be ourselves, witnesses to the « I am » that every human carries within and awakens in the other. But that necessarily implies going through an experience of the void, sometimes close to death. In the story of Lazarus raised from the dead (Jn 11, 1-44), the threat of the void mines out a deep space for the indestructible « I am » of God in all the characters including Jesus, faced with the dizzy perspective of his own death.

  • - Le Fils du Très-Haut. Sur les anges et la christologie
  • On the basis of recent studies on angel christology, the author investigates in how far it is justified to consider Jesus as the incarnation of God’s highest angel. It appears from Dt 32/8-9 that originally Yahweh was subordinated to the Most High and could be called one of the sons of God. Philo of Alexandria preserved this ancient tradition in his view of a hierarchy within God, according to which God’s Logos or Lord could appear in a human form on earth. Orthodox and gnostic Christians transmitted other versions of the ancient pantheon. Even in the New Testament the ancient view of the LORD being subordinated to God seems to be attested. The result is that, among other traditions, Jesus could be looked upon as the incarnation of Yahweh, and thus as the Son of God Most High.

  • - La guerre des Cévennes (1702-1707) – Camisards, catholiques civils et troupes royales : De l’affrontement bilatéral au triptyque insurrectionnel ?
  • For a long time, the historiography of the war of Cévennes had focuses solely on the actions of the Camisard thus leaving aside the numerous other elements of the war and therefore presenting it as a bilateral war in Bas-Languedoc thus closely following the distinction in religion between Catholics and Protestants. Yet while displaying at the same time the marks left by the previous religion wars, the polymorphous aspect of the monbilization of the original Catholics implies that we need to go beyond the vision of the war of Cévennes as a conflict only consisting in the actions led by the Camisards. Therfore, it is also necessary to go beyond the scope of religious alliances in order to study the more ambiguous role of civilian Catholic populations who cannot be considered as belonging only to the royal troups or clergy, a view which is too often held by historiographs. But if historiography had acknowledged that these civilian Catholic populations had engaged in robberies it had nevertheless failed to see the insurrectionary aspect of some of the fringe groups. Uniting together zealous Catholics and seditious elements the mobilization of original Catholics thus brings out the presence of a third major actor of the conflict which had stayed outside the sacred scene for too long.

  • - Un Dieu érotique. En revisitant le mythe de Babel
  • What if the myth of Babel were turned on its head ? What if the curse proved in fact to be a blessing ­ the fall could then be seen as creative, the fragmentation of the Same as an opportunity ? The play of difference would then assume the function of preserving God from us and our pretentions to give complete expression to Him. The fall of the Tower would mark the end of pornographic violence. In one and the same movement, the fall of Babel would thus give rise to an erotic outburst never before witnessed. In effect, it would establish a new relationship to the Other, deepening the desire through the recurrent reference to that which is missing, to the Body which has been withdrawn.

  • - L’évêque, le lièvre et le chien
  • The paper examines the passages in the Confessions where Augustine mentions his body and discusses the role of the senses. The argument is that we can grasp there what is the new understanding of embodiment that he began to put forth. It is shown that his understanding of sexuality is just one part of it. To the dualism body-above/soul-below begins to be substituted a tension between sensation, always urgent in the present, and memory which turns things over.
    The role of metaphor is shown to be crucial in his achievement of identity and in finding what he has to confess to God.

Notules et Péricopes

  • - Sur les deux noms du Dieu de Genèse 2/4b-3/24, ou la « théo-logique » d’un Dieu critique
  • This is a study in poetics. Its aim is to show that the double naming of God (YHWH-Elohim) in Gn 2,4b-3,24 is consistent with the more general doubling of signifiers in this narrative,which may therefore be understood as the first element in an extended theo-logical meditation which continues through all the Hebrew scriptures. It produces the figure of a critical god, a compromise demanded by human fallibility, between two narrative postures, that of the almighty God-Judge and that of a lord bound by oath to his servants. This contradiction renders him a tragic figure.

  • - Josué et la rhétorique de la violence. Le cas de la prise d’Aï en Jos 8/1-29
  • The conquest narratives in Josh. 1-12 are of a rare violence. The capture of some cities such as Jericho, Ai or Hazor are followed by massive killings. Jericho is in ruins, and all ist inhabitants – women, men, children, elders, oxen, ewes, asses – are put to the sword. In Ai, the number of dead amounts to 12.000 ; Hazor, « the head of all these kingdoms », is reduced to ashes. How are we to explain that god tolerates such massacres ? Is god violent ? Isn’t he the God of mercy and kindness, who does not hesitate to give his only Son ? The arcionite heresy chose to dispose of the question by opting for a canon of Scriptures which deliberately excluded the OT. For its part, the « orthodox » current took the risk of a polyphonic reading of Scriptures, thus conserving the Hebrew Bible and the obscure aspects of God. As heirs to this tradition, we are to be confronted with this thorny question – a question which is all the more complex since archazology has taught us in the meantime that very few Canaanite cities were in fact destroyed by the Israelite tribes. What significance should we therefore give to the extreme violence of the Book of Joshua ? Which circumstances could cause the ancient Israel to relate its own past in such bellicist manner ? There are the questions guiding this contribution and informing its reflection.

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