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Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

Kritik des Wachstumsmodells

Die Grenzen alttestamentlicher Redaktionsgeschichte im Lichte empirischer Evidenz

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Benjamin Ziemer

Mit seiner bahnbrechenden preisgekrönten Kritik des Wachstumsmodells plädiert Benjamin Ziemer für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der alttestamentlichen Literaturgeschichte. Er untersucht in detaillierten Einzelstudien einen repräsentativen Katalog empirischer Beispiele für Redaktion, vom Gilgamesch-Epos über das ägyptische Totenbuch bis hin zu biblischen Büchern (Chronik, Jeremia, Daniel, Esther) und Qumranschriften (Tempelrolle, Sektenregel). Er zeigt, dass die durch Textvergleich nachweisbaren Redaktoren ihre Vorlagen nie nur durch Neues erweitert, sondern immer auch zugleich Formulierungen angepasst oder vervielfältigt, heterogenes Material eingearbeitet oder eine kürzende Auswahl getroffen haben. Bislang dominieren im kontinentaleuropäischen Forschungskontext Fortschreibungs- und Ergänzungshypothesen, nach denen man ein beliebiges Textelement nur der richtigen Entstehungsschicht zuweisen müsse, um seinen ursprünglichen literarischen Kontext wiederherstellen zu können. Dieses Modell stufenweisen »literarischen Wachstums« ist, so Ziemer, wissenschaftlich nicht mehr haltbar.
With his groundbreaking award-winnig study Kritik des Wachstumsmodells, Benjamin Ziemer is arguing for a change of paradigm in Old Testament literary criticism. He examines a representative list of empirical examples of editorial processes, including the Gilgamesh Epic, the Book of the Dead, books of the Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls. He shows that redactors who can be identified by external evidence never confined themselves to adding new material. Rather, they simultaneously adjusted or duplicated parts of the text, incorporated material from elsewhere or shortened their source texts. Until now, the bulk of redaction critical studies in Europe adhere to the presupposition of textual or literary »growth« – assuming that multiple previous layers are to be found intact in the final texts. With Ziemer’s study, this model of growth is no longer tenable.

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Jennifer Andruska

For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.