Tony Z

“Do you wish that Luke had included everything that Jesus told the disciples on the Emmaus road? What stories from the Old Testament would you like Jesus to explain?” I’m not sure I wish Luke would have included everything — on the one hand, it feels like it would fill in a gap in the story, but on the other hand, it would compromise the dramatic precision of the story Luke is telling. But if I had to choose, I’d like to hear about the story of Abraham and Isaac…

This idea of being re-narrated into being does seem to me to resonate with the theme/themes in the story of the reversal of the position of outsider/insider, guest/host, argument/agreement. What’s resonating especially is the idea of the outsider being in the world, but not of it, and the insiders (Cleopas/N) discovering themselves in agreement, mediated by the outsider. The point of the story, or part of the point, seems to be trying to reveal to the reader that she/he is also in the world but not of it.

I think it is interesting and important that James brings in the idea of the foreigner here. And there’s some tension for me: as a white, American male, where I live, I’m very much privileged, and not an outsider, or foreigner, at least in those respects. I’m thinking though, that the outsider status James is trying to bring out here is not at the level of the “social other”, which would include race, nationality, and gender, but the Other of that other, so to speak.

And finally, about the theme of resurrection…to be honest, it’s difficult if not impossible for me to take the idea of resurrection literally, but I think I can relate to the meaning in the story I think James is trying to explain. It’s especially enlightening to hear him discuss how ghosts in stories are vengeful, contrasted with the lack of vengeance in the appearance of Jesus to Cleopas/N. That makes a lot of sense in the context of Girard’s account of rivalry in mimetic theory.

Thanks for replying to previous posts, by the way 🙂