Foucault, Jesus and St. Paul

I am proceeding with my encoding of the letters from Adolph von Buch to Louis de Beausobre (you can find a general presentation of that corpus here and an analysis of my first difficulties here and here). The first letters dealt with war events, the next ones consist in Adolph von Buch trying to develop a theological argument on the credibility of the Bible towards his “professor” Beausobre.

As I mentioned here, I still haven’t settled on a precise edition of the Bible. Things became more complicated as Paul turned up. Here’s the extract (I give you the encoded text):

Il n’y a donc, que deux mo<lb break=”no”
/>yens, qui puissent faire connoitre aux hommes des nouvelles verités au dessus
de leur raison. 1/ quand Dieu leur fait naitre de nouvelles sensations. Cela ne
serviroit, comme Vous le remarqués tres bien, qu’à cet homme seul, <lb/>puisque
dans ce cas il acquereroit des forces au-delà des humaines et ne pourroit point
se faire entendre des <lb/>autres hommes. C’est pourquoi <persName ref=”#p0042″
>St. Paul</persName> ne put jamais communiquer aux autres les idées, qu’il
avoit acquis <lb/>lors de son enlevement au troisieme Ciel.

I am still not sure if I have to register Saint Paul in the index of persons. The St. Paul mentioned here is the biblical figure, but do I have to consider that this person is identical with Saul of Tarsus or at least, that von Buch thinks of the historical person too, when he writes this? In which case, I would have to link Paul to the Bible as an author of a part of it, maybe with a @cert=”medium” (would that be theologically satisfying?).

I had had a similar problem with Jesus little before (do I have to consider the biblical figure or the historical person?), as well as with Moses, like I mentioned here. In the end, I have settled for an < occupation >=Messiah. The question is more whether I take the PND (which is a guarantee for a “real” person) or not.

So, with my dear friend Foucault, I might be tempted to not only consider an author as a function (I found a scanned version of the text in an English translation online), but basically any kind of person. What I still don’t know is how I can technically implement that in my index of persons-


Anne Baillot

I studied German Studies and Philosophy in Paris where I got my PhD in 2002. I then moved to Berlin, where I have been living & doing research ever since. My areas of specialty include German literature, Digital Humanities, textual scholarship and intellectual history. I am currently working at the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin as an expert in digital technologies for the humanities.

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