Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Conflict and Identity in Romans: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter,
Philip F. Esler, Fortress Press, 2003, page 24
Maurice Halbwach proposed social memory theory: that many of our memories are collective and are derived from the groups to which we belong. Eslerr observes that:
Collective remembering is certainly essential to the experience of a community.
A collective memory allows the group to self-correct and self-affirm by the strategy of needing agreement on "Do you remember when ..." It prevents scatter and loss of the past; it inhibits the addition of things that no-one remembers. Esler adds:
Efforts to control the past frequently take the form of a struggle for the possession and interpretation of collective memory. At stake in such struggles is often the identity and status of groups and communities.
Hence, perhaps, we can see a reason for four gospels, twelve minor prophets and five books of Torah.