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NBA Past and Present, Critical Methods, and the Search for a Sitz im Leben

January 15, 2014

Today in my Jesus and Gospels class, I was lecturing on the historical evolution of the critical methodologies used in Gospel studies since the 1700s. When I got to the form-critical concern to distinguish the Sitz im Leben Jesu from the Sitz im Leben der Kirche, I used the video posted below to serve as an illustration of how things old and new were “mashed together” (my imprecise term) to create stories for specific communities, and also how these traditions stand alongside each other–often undetected–in the same narrative. Interestingly, the video had varying impacts upon my students, some of whom are avid NBA fans and others who have never seen a game. For some students, the final shot of Michael Jordan fist-bumping Derrick Rose meant nothing, since they knew of neither player nor of their significance to the game. This division among the students created further opportunities for dialogue about how the Gospels are received today by different groups. (FYI: I posted this video several years ago and happened to run across it again today.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2014 12:15 am

    I will steal. Pedagogical thievery is one of my vices.


    • January 16, 2014 1:49 am

      Whenever I come across good stuff from other people, my standard line is, “I’m definitely going to use that and not give you credit for it.” Use away.

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