Wednesday, May 09, 2007

1 Down, 5 to Go

If you're wondering about the title, I'm speaking in terms of YEARS here, people! This ain't no picnic!

Here's me studying for my qualifying exam:

I'm not sure why Marlowe looks so exhausted. I know I'll sound sick when I say this, but I thought the exam was kind of fun. It was taken by just me and my 3 compatriots in the dinky office of our eccentric professor - for 6 hours. It was like camp, when you all bond - I think we emerged with renewed respect and affection for each other.

Anyway, some fun things from my studies to share:

1) In the 4th century Apostolic Tradition, the Eucharist begins with "The Blessing of the Bread and Wine" followed immediately by "The Blessing of the Cheese and Olives." What the? Why the hell is our ritual so anemic these days?

2) Here's an interesting passage from the rabbinic Babylonian Talmud:

'To draw out one's stay in a privy,' it is said that this good thing. But has it not been taught: Ten things bring on piles . . . Some add, to strain oneself unduly in a privy! - There is no contradiction: one statement refers to one who stays long and strains himself, the other to one who stays long without straining himself. This may be illustrated by what a certain matron said to R. Kudah: 'Your face is red,' to which he replied: On my faith, there are twenty-four privies between my lodging and the Beth ha-Midrash, and when I go there I test myself in all of them.

3) My favorite line from my reading this year:

The Christian city of Edessa, which probably had a larger percentage of Christians among its population than any of the larger towns during the period previous to Constantine, was certainly an oasis and nothing more. Round it swarmed the heathen.

That's Adolf von Harnack for you. Good ol' 19th century German scholarship.

Hooray! I'm done!


victoria winters said...

Good job on finishing the exam which, quite frankly, sounds terrifying to me. LOVE the picture of Marlowe. Hilarious!

marianevans said...

I think he was tired of hearing me recite my notes.

Moltmannian said...

Marlowe says- mommy I'm just bushed. I've spent all day watching birds and squirrels and listening to you go on about Marcion, Montanus and maybe Mythraic cults. Whew...