Mr Michael Thate
Abstract and Research Topic
My general interests revolve around the phenomena of societal ordering, identity construction, and theories of reception. This has led me into varying fields of research ranging from the Study of Religion (a module I help teach with Prof. Douglas Davies); the Islam, Law, and Modernity Research Group at Durham University; and various other ventures.
Though the classification of my doctoral research is most likely to be designated as Leben Jesu Forschung and the rise of early Christianity, it encompasses several adjacent fields of research: viz., social theory, philosophies of history, biblical studies, performance criticism, and classical history. Part One of the dissertation investigates the cultural pressures which gave rise to the asking of the question of the historical Jesus, particularly focusing on the rhetorical strategy of Albert Schweitzer and his reception. Leben Jesu Forschung is therefore a kind of case study for the construction and reception of ideas. In Part Two I attempt a constructive element by appropriating theories of memory to historical Jesus Research and conclude by demonstrating the appropriation of this theory within the Gospel of Mark. I understand the Markan author as evoking Jesus memories and setting them within a narrative framework for the purposes of identity construction and communal direction.
Other Research Interests
- Canonical and Non-Canonical Gospels
- Historical Jesus Research
- Acts and its Graeco-Roman Environment
- Critical Theories
- Empire and the Constructions of Identity from First Triumvirate to Hadrian
- Sociological Study of Religion
- Islam and Society
- Early Judaism
- Social History of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Germany
- (re)Constructive Theology
"Dating Thomas: Logion 53 as a Test Case for Dating the Gospel of Thomas within an Early Christian Trajectory," Bulletin for Biblical Research 20.2 (2010) 221-40 co-written with Joshua W. Jipp.
"Paul at the Ball: Ecclesia Victor and the Cosmic Defeat of Personified Evil in Romans 16:20," in Paul's World (ed. Stanley E. Porter; vol. 4 of Pauline Studies; Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2008) 151-170.
"Conditionality in John's Gospel: A Critique and Examination of Time and Reality as Classically Conceived in Conditional Constructions," JETS 50/3 (September 2007) 561-72.
(several articles under review-see conference papers for a sampling)
"Religion and Politics: Lebanon a Test Case," with Dima Smayra; Sociological Study of Religion, Durham University, Durham University, 8 May 2012.
"Islam and Society: Sunni, Shi'a, and the Prophet," with Dr. Mir Faizal and Bilal Demir; Sociological Study of Religion, Durham University, 7 February 2012.
"The Dexterity of Memory: The Role of Memory in Religious Traditions," Sociological Study of Religion, Durham University, 13 December 2011.
"The Appropriation of the Subject: Inheritance and Re-visioning of Judgment Themes via Alterity, Difference, and Sameness in the Apocalypse," Otherness, Subjectivity & Representation, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland, 21-22 October 2011.
"Resistance and the Idolatry of Particularity: Michel Foucault as a Resource for Reading Clement," 16th Annual International Conference on Patristic Studies, University of Oxford, 8-12 August 2011.
"This Side of World Negation: The Relevance of Jesus and the Moral Community within Schweitzer's Ethical Vision," New Testament Seminar, Tübingen University, 27 June 2011.
"Becoming Present: Memory, Performance, and the People of God in Mark's Gospel," Authoritative Texts and Reception History: Aspects and Approaches. The 1st St Andrews Graduate Conference for Biblical and Early Christian Studies, St Andrews University, 15-16 June 2011.
"Jesus and Genitals: Judith Butler, Gender, the Jesus-of-Discourse," Demystifying Public Engagement: Gender and Sexuality Beyond the Academy," New Castle University, 14-15 May 2011.
"Communal Memory and Christic Community: Identity Construction and Formation in the Marcan Gospel," Contemporary Identities, CIPIC, Paris, France, 12-15 April 2011.
"The Distorting Mirror at the Bottom of the Distorted Well: The Commodification of Jesus and the Marginalization of the Masses," Perspectives from Where We Stand, Durham University, 18 March 2011.
"The Place and Posture of Religious Knowledge: Nearer Perceptivity and the Ethics of Knowledge," Sociological Study of Religion, Durham University, 14 March 2011.
"This Effusive Presence: Memory, Performance, and the People of God. On the Possibility of Theology and Societal Direction," International Society for Religion, Literature and Culture Conference, Oxford University, 23-26 September 2010.
"On Certainty and Orientation and the Twain of the Two: Nearer Perceptivity and the Ethics of Knowledge," 61st Annual Meeting of ETS National Conference, November 2009.
"What Are People For? Toward an Ethic of Management," 61st Annual Meeting of ETS National Conference, November 2009.
"The Nexus of Moses & Jesus: The Programmatic Function of avnti, in John's Prologue," 48th Annual ETS Undergraduate Student Paper Competition, March 2003. Winner of First Prize.