Context to people

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Context to people

Postby Vasiliki Didaskalou » June 26th, 2011, 10:56 pm

I notice that this forum lends itself to be slightly on the 'dry" side ... I find that quite amusing because to properly learn Greek you must get into the mind set and culture of the Greek heart and soul; they are never "dry" people and that is reflected in the rich language they have left behind.

So, for the sake of improving the "learning" of "Greek" it would be nice to inject some life and love and humour inot this forum perhaps by starting with understanding the cultural background of people and religion ...

Myself, I am born in Australia to Greek migrants. I am educated (Bach of Engineering) and I was baptised an Orthodox Christian (as are most Greek people). However, I must say, I have spent most of my adult life pursuing God, human history, language etc and I can say that I have chosen to be Orthodox Christian by choice.

That has led me to pursue and understand my faith in an academic sense (not just in a spiritual sense that is a given since that is a way of life) - a hobby ...

I am finding this whole process fascinating ... to see the link between language and art and culture etc is just something that is the most rewarding thing in my life. I am also blessed to see how just the way we "live life" is the fruit of thousands of years of development of our forefathers - how grateful that I can see the beauty of this all.

Now, your turn: what is your reason for pursuing the deciphering of the Greek language?

Does your background inhibit or enhance your experience?
Vasiliki Didaskalou
 
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Re: Context to people

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 27th, 2011, 9:14 am

Vasiliki Didaskalou wrote:I notice that this forum lends itself to be slightly on the 'dry" side ...


From 1992 until quite recently, B-Greek was a mailing list, and around 1997 we developed very careful rules about what was permitted on the list and what was not.

These rules are a mixed blessing. We manage to have very good discussions about Greek and about the texts, among a group of people with very different beliefs. If we allowed religious debate, or had a lot of personal sharing about the meaning of these texts, I think it would be very hard to focus on the texts themselves.

But sometimes the rigidity does make things dry. And part of B-Greek, for me, has always been the discussions on the sidelines, in email, about matters of faith that we don't discuss here.

Vasiliki Didaskalou wrote:I find that quite amusing because to properly learn Greek you must get into the mind set and culture of the Greek heart and soul; they are never "dry" people and that is reflected in the rich language they have left behind.

So, for the sake of improving the "learning" of "Greek" it would be nice to inject some life and love and humour in this forum perhaps by starting with understanding the cultural background of people and religion ...


Of course, modern Greek culture has evolved quite a bit since the time of the New Testament, but I do think it's still relevant.

Vasiliki Didaskalou wrote:Myself, I am born in Australia to Greek migrants. I am educated (Bach of Engineering) and I was baptised an Orthodox Christian (as are most Greek people). However, I must say, I have spent most of my adult life pursuing God, human history, language etc and I can say that I have chosen to be Orthodox Christian by choice.

That has led me to pursue and understand my faith in an academic sense (not just in a spiritual sense that is a given since that is a way of life) - a hobby ...


I've really enjoyed Greek Orthodox services in Brisbane twice - including one Easter service after a flight that managed to erase Western Easter entirely, so I was very happy to be able to celebrate Easter on a different date. It's easy to follow the liturgy, which I very much enjoy, but when they switch to modern Greek and tell me there's a car in the parking lot that has the lights on, I get completely lost.

Vasiliki Didaskalou wrote:Now, your turn: what is your reason for pursuing the deciphering of the Greek language?

Does your background inhibit or enhance your experience?


I've been a Mennonite most of my adult life. Not the suspenders-and-buggies kind of Mennonite, the "what Jesus said and did" kind of Mennonite. We don't usually do a whole lot of scholarly anything.

I originally started learning Greek because I wanted to know which doctrines were correct, and which translations were correct. I thought that learning Greek would allow me to parse correct doctrine directly out of the text, and to know which translations were correct. Silly me.

I continue to love Greek because I hear the voices of the original writers come through in a way that they don't in translation, I notice the details, and I just love the language. And there's a simplicity in just reading the text carefully, without imposing theology on it, that I find very compatible with my approach to faith.

I'm self taught, and still very much learning, though, I'm not in the same league as the experts on this forum.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Context to people

Postby Vasiliki Didaskalou » June 27th, 2011, 9:36 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:These rules are a mixed blessing. We manage to have very good discussions about Greek and about the texts, among a group of people with very different beliefs. If we allowed religious debate, or had a lot of personal sharing about the meaning of these texts, I think it would be very hard to focus on the texts themselves.


I totally agree ... that is why I felt it was appropriate to get to know people outside of the "business" and in a more informal area like "introductions" ... forgive me if I have cause any offense, that is not my intention nor is it to stir up religious debate. Rather, a little familiarity with each individual allows for better interaction in the more details areas of the forum.

To be able to participate correctly in the forum I have spent the last few days looking up linguistic terminologies, history etc just so I can chime in, in the future

:o
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Re: Context to people

Postby Jonathan Robie » June 27th, 2011, 9:44 am

Vasiliki Didaskalou wrote:I totally agree ... that is why I felt it was appropriate to get to know people outside of the "business" and in a more informal area like "introductions" ... forgive me if I have cause any offense, that is not my intention nor is it to stir up religious debate. Rather, a little familiarity with each individual allows for better interaction in the more details areas of the forum.


You're cool.

I do think this is fine in the "introductions" area, and it makes the forum more personal.

If it gets out of hand, we may decide to become more rigid here too. But not unless it does get out of hand.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Context to people

Postby Vasiliki Didaskalou » June 27th, 2011, 9:59 am

If it gets out of hand you will have to "make me eat wood" (Greek joke).

Today, I spent my day looking at the chronological list of Greek writers right through to the closure of the School of Athens in 6th century A.D. (so I can work out who I have to start reading) and I feel confident that I should start with the Miletus guys ...
Vasiliki Didaskalou
 
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Re: Context to people

Postby cwconrad » June 27th, 2011, 10:28 am

I'm not citing any of the previous dialogue, but I can chime in about two or three of the points raised:

(a) I feel very strongly that matters of strong personal conviction, i.e. matters about which there is a broad spectrum of stances held by different persons, ought not to be aired openly in this forum. That would include in particular matters of theology, hermeneutics, and the area of apologetic polemics promoting or attacking anybody's orthodoxy. These matters tend to be controversial and inflammatory and don't rest upon a shared set of assumptions. Such discussions are at best distracting and tend to be offensive to one or several forum members.

(b) We have endeavored to censure sarcastic comments in the past where they were intended to be offensive, but we haven't ordinarily been upset with gently ironic comments -- particularly if accompanied by some indication like an emoticon -- that have seemed intended to encourage a less intense perspective on an issue at hand. I think too that we have been wide open to humorous input including downright silly stuff, including puns, stories about eccentric scholars, to mention just a couple.

(c) When we have felt the need to exercise discipline for violation of protocol, we have ordinarily consulted with other moderators and have ordinarily corresponded privately with offenders before taking any drastic action. Moreover, we have rarely acted precipitously to a problem arising; problem-solving with regard to questionable behavior by participants has generally been a matter of watching developments ("wait and see") rather than "nipping in the bud." The forum as now constituted is substantially more healthy than the old mailing list for having a considerably expanded staff of moderators and advisors.

(d) In-forum interaction between participants is likely, I think, to become warmer and looser as regular participants become more familiar with each other. That was certainly true of the B-Greek mailing list for the better part of two decades (it became, to some extent, a congenial community of inquirers), and I think it will probably be true of the Forum increasingly as time passes and we come to recognize and respond to each other's quirks.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
ὁ ἀναγινώσκων νοείτω
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Re: Context to people

Postby Vasiliki Didaskalou » June 27th, 2011, 7:00 pm

Thank you Mr Conrad, I share your concerns and share your thoughts on the overall protocol of a professional forum such as this ...
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