PFBC – Breakout – Blogging Text

[can’t talk and type at the same time, so my comments are not here. see other blogs for a run down of what I said.]

Moderated by Rabbi Jill (JSpot, Radical Torah)

Judaism has a rich textual tradition, not all of it text.

  • Jill: Blog about Torah with a social justice idea. Infuse Jewish perspective on other texts (NYT)
  • Tim (Christian Alliance for Progress): Trying to bring Christian texts to bear on public policy.
  • Mik (JSpot): Most of my blogging doesn’t involve posting on text. Try to balance posting.
  • Rachel (Velveteen Rabbi, Radical Torah): Blogs Torah portion of the week.
  • Thurman (Xpatriated Texan): Blogging in response to idea that being liberal and Christian were not compatible. Deals more with political issues, and quotes scripture.
  • Michelle (Pearlbear): Blog text on other blog. Posts on lectionary reading of the week.
  • Steve (Cross Left): More political than theological. Developing progressive Christian think tank and developing public policy from that.
  • Arthur (Shalom Center): Serious textual reference in what we send out. Try to root commentary on political issues in text.
  • Barbara (Barbara’s Tchochkas): In process of converting to Judaism.
  • Jude (Journalist, personal blog, moderate book club): constant references to scripture, if not discussion.
  • Jesse (Faithful Democrats): No blog yet, one coming.
  • Jenna (Auburn Media): Media as public education. Religious leaders represent American landscape. How do progressive religious leaders use text?
  • Bruce (Mainstream Baptist): Use texts to give different perspective than Southern Baptist Conventions understanding of topic.

Jill: What’s different about use of texts on the blog than off of it?

  • Mik: Need to use texts responsibly.
  • Arthur: Need the blog to get the quick point out.
  • Thurman: Early education emphasized literal reading of KJV Bible. Start with literal and then show how literalism falls short in modern world. Need to look for principle.
  • Tim: Things you wouldn’t say in a sermon, but are appropriate for a blog. The written word gives you a better reading of the word.
  • Rachel: Blogging scripture presupposes a dialogue.
  • Thurman: Biggest difference between blogging and speaking is that in speaking you can’t refer back to things said earlier. Blogging is also a way to get between traditions. Doesn’t happen in spoken world where we begin to focus on differences.

Jill: blogging sits well with the Jewish tradition, because of the tradition of commenting on text. What are the possibilities where you can have linkages across and through traditions? and what are the limits?

  • Barbara: makes the text richer, fuller, more interesting
  • Thurman: always running into someone who wants to discuss text only on their terms
  • Jenna: who has authority to interpret text? in blogging, how to claim/justify authority?
  • Mik: fascinating if there would be more cross-faith textual analysis. text is the exclusive domain of the believers of that faith.
  • Bruce: good text to bring us together is the 10 Commandments.
  • Arthur: which version of the 10 Commandments?
  • Thurman: textualism is one of the reasons I left fundy-ism [my term]
  • Steve: limitations on reading of text. focus on common ground and then use text to talk about it.
  • TIm: masters and PhD advisors were Jewish scholars of the New Testament. forced me to expand how I think about text.
  • Jude: want to get between traditions. not a scholar, but immersed in Bible.

Jill: Paradox is in blogging texts that are so old, but blogging is a more ephemeral text. [Fascinating point. Does that mean that we will acknowledge what we read into God’s word will pass in time and only God’s word is eternal? That we can’t know the truth? Is it damaging to literalism and fundy-ism?]

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3 thoughts on “PFBC – Breakout – Blogging Text

  1. “Fundy-ism” is, I think, a good term.
    Thank you for being such a solid part of our conference. I think it is something to be proud of that the very weekend when bombs were raining in Lebanon, Jews and Muslims and Christians and others were gathering in New Jersey (really? New Jersey?) to raise our voices to The One Above All and find the hand of friendship.
    If we can do such a thing by relying on the power of the Almighty to lead us, then peace is really a simple thing – just repeat this process infinitely.

  2. Islamoyankee –
    I wanted to stop in and say that it was wonderful to have had the opportunity to meet and hear you, and I hope there will be many future opportunities.
    Thank you for your leadership and participation. I learned a lot from the sessions you helped to lead.
    I wanted to send you a few examples of my work on the internet. Here is a post of mine about raising the minimum wage (with a values discussion.)
    This is the BookClub I had mentioned .. and as a special enhancement to the depth of the discussion, there will be a podcast released this week that was recorded by Senator John Edwards and former President Jimmy Carter.
    A post at my personal blog about the Roman Catholic perspective on the immigration issue.
    I most recently teamed up with Faithful Progressive’s Weekly Action Coalition in an effort to raise voices of faith together to move public policy closer to our common vision.
    On a weekend when the world seemed to be going insane, we spoke of our diverse belief with a common hope. Thanks for the part you played in making it such a fruitful experience.
    Jude Nagurney Camwell

  3. Islamoyankee,
    Thanks for recording some comments from this breakout session.
    Here’s a link to a chart I created to illustrate differences in how differing faith traditions interpret the ten commandments. This is one of the reasons why I think the ten commandments would be a good text for interfaith exegesis.
    Here’s a report that discusses some of the implications that these differing interpretations have had for history.

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