Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: “Social sciences meet biblical studies”

CSTT-member Jutta Jokiranta, team leader of CSTT team 4, will give one of the Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity tomorrow (Fri March 11), which are organised by the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction. Her lecture is entitled:

Social sciences meet biblical studies: Conversations with social identity and magical agency

Biblical scholars frequently employ concepts and theories from social sciences in their work with the ancient texts. This paper will discuss two areas of study that biblical scholars are in conversation with. The first is the study of social identity: how did the ancient authors and their audiences identify themselves and how did the texts function as vehicles of social categorization. I will take a few examples, such as the translation of the Greek ’ioudaios’ either as ‘Jew’ or ‘Judaean’ and the understanding of the “stranger” in Hebrew Bible legislation and Qumran texts. Scholars still speak of groups in essentialistic terms but more recent research takes note of the dynamic social construction of identities and adaptation into changed circumstances. The second area is ritual studies and beliefs and theories of efficacy. Texts do not allow us to enter the ritual world in full but they provide information about some of the beliefs in which the ritual participants were conditioned to. In both areas, there are attempts to take into account both the fundamentally different environment of the ancient world and the cognitive tendencies of the human mind that have remained largely the same and have impact on religious behavior.

Venue: Metsätalo, room 12 (Unioninkatu 40)
Time: March 11, 2016 at 12h00-14h00