Befriending the Beloved Disciple
Adele Reinhartz engages in five different readings of the fourth Gospel. Each approach views the Beloved Disciple differently* as mentor, opponent, collegue and as other. In the course of each of these readings she elucidates the three narrative levels that...
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Adele Reinhartz engages in five different readings of the fourth Gospel. Each approach views the Beloved Disciple differently* as mentor, opponent, collegue and as other. In the course of each of these readings she elucidates the three narrative levels that interpenetrate the Gospel* the historical, the cosmological and the ecclesiological. In the latter she deals at length with the so-called expulsion theory, the dominant scholarly notion that the Johannine community, which included believers of Jewish, Gentile and Samaritan origins, engaged in a prolonged and violent controversy with the local Jewish community, culminating in a traumatic expulsion from the synagogue.
Adele Reinhartz has been studying and teaching the Gospel of John for many years. Earlier, she chose to ignore the love/hate relationship that the book provokes in her, a Jew, and took refuge in an "objective" historical-critical approach. At this stage her relationship to the Gospel was not so much a friendship as a business relationship. No longer willing to ignore the negative portrayal of Jews and Judaism in the text, nor the insight that her own Jewish identity inevitably does play a role in her work as an exegete, Reinhartz here explores the Fourth Gospel through the approach known as "ethical criticism," which is based on the metaphorical notion of the book as "friend" -- not "an easy, unquestioning companionship," but the kind of honest relationship in which ethical considerations are addressed, not avoided.
Adele Reinhartz is Associate Vice-President of Research at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where she also holds the position of Professor in the Department of Classics and Religious Studies.