The rest of the day featured three major components. The topical seminars had their first meeting. I am signed up for the one focused on the Gospel of John. The first seminar paper in this section was by Anni Hentschel and focused on intertextual relationships between John and the Synoptics, with particular attention to the footwashing scene, but also John 1, 5, and 9. I found myself thinking about aspects of these stories that I had not before. For instance, I noticed for the first time that in John 5 the healed man who seems to not end up following Jesus never enters the water, while the man in John 9 does wash in the Pool of Siloam. Is this baptismal symbolism? I also found myself wondering about the connection between John’s statement that he is unworthy to untie he sandals of the one coming after him, and Jesus’ servant-like washing of his disciples’ feet.
During the coffee break I spoke to Uro Risto about common interests ranging from baptismal rituals to Star Trek. At lunch I sat with Dennis MacDonald and we spoke about undergraduates’ lack of research skills and issues of plagiarism, as well as our current research projects, and after lunch I also talked with Steven Kraftchick about posthumanism and science fiction.