Book Note: Das Thomas-Evangelium: Entstehung, Rezeption, Theologie (ed. Frey, Popkes, and Schröter)

This morning a surprise book came in the mail to me. A couple of years ago, I participated in a conference on the Gospel of Thomas in Eisenach, Germany. I remember turning in my paper to the conference organizers, but never received proofs for any volume nor information to expect its publication.

Well this morning the mystery is solved. Here is the conference volume, and here is my paper in it. As I read it over I am disappointed with the amount of printing errors including the loss of some indentations at the beginning of a few paragraphs. Apparently the editors weren't able to catch them, and I certainly didn't because I never had any proofs to make corrections and had no idea it was being published! This has never happened to me before, and I find it disconcerting. It is terribly upsetting when an author's work is published without allowances for the author to read and correct the typeset version which always contains mistakes due to the transfer process from the author's files to the press's files. I'm just grateful that this particular piece does not include extensive Coptic or Greek!

The book details: Jörg Frey, Enno Edzard Popkes, and Jens Schröter (eds.), Das Thomasevangelium: Entstehung, Rezeption, Theologie (BZNW 157; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008).

Anyway, it is an interesting mixture of papers from both authors who gave papers at the conference and authors who didn't. Most are very standard form- and redaction-critical papers mainly written by the German contributors. But then there are some papers that move forward the discussion methodologically.

My paper is called "Mysticism and the Gospel of Thomas."

UPDATE 6-19-08: Well I have received a response from Jens who says that files were e-mailed to the authors last year. When I didn't turn in any corrections, he assumed that I didn't have any. It has always been my experience as a book editor (and I have edited many) that if I don't hear back from an author with corrections, something is wrong. Either the author didn't receive the proof, or has been on vacation, or has been ill. I am extremely upset about this because it makes me look careless, when in fact I never received a proof to correct nor any correspondence from the editors. We should never assume that authors receive things we sent electronically, especially since university systems have tough SPAM filters, and servers go down.