The reception of research on the social, cultural, and cognitive dimensions of memory in the field of Christian Origins has provoked debates about the significance of these approaches for Synoptic, Johannine, and historical Jesus scholarship. Alan Kirk shows how memory theory forms the basis for a comprehensive account of the formation of the gospel tradition and its history, one capable of displacing the moribund form-critical model and providing a new point of departure for work on a range of classic research problems in the tradition.
The volume brings together 12 essays published between 2001 and 2016. The essays have been newly revised for this volume and organized under the following rubrics: ‘Memory and the Formation of the Jesus Tradition’; ‘Memory and Manuscript’; ‘Memory and Historical Jesus Research’; and ‘Memory in 2nd Century Gospel Writing’. The introductory essay, written for this volume, argues that the old form critical model, in marginalizing memory, abandoned the one factor capable of actually accounting for the origins of the gospel tradition, its manifestation in oral and written media, and its historical trajectory