Boaz Johnson, response-
Agrees with conversion as fundamental change and transformation. Appreciates the eschatology dimension given to this theme.
Individual conversion accounts are few and infrequent, in comparison to the transformation of peoples and cosmos.
He sees the picture differently, and based in his experience of the OT in his own conversion from Hinduism and has seen conversion from Hinduism and Islam. OT become models for conversions as we find in NT.
Best conversion studies have yet come out of Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist settings.
But also in anti conversion laws. Also raises questions what is a Christian. The question needs to be in these contexts of India, Middle east, Africa etc. Ask question of Western Church to take a second look at the OT Stories. Membership in extended family and clan, and this is model of conversion and in many place around the world. Abraham conversion as a model it becomes a story of break with context, and this can be a very painful reality.
This sort of break, is shown in that Israel is the people who come together and recite the shama. then conversion get wrapped up in the liturgical moment. This then is the conversion story of Ruth.
Role of place in OT for conversion. Exodus ch 15, this takes place so that people will go to the place. It is the place where Solomon builds the temple. It is as if it is a centripetal force drawing both the Gentile and the Jew toward the machom (place) people need to go in a spiral towards the place.
There is the opposite of "place", where Abraham goes down. Going down is the opposite of conversion. Negative thing. Jonah goes down, and Jonah is called to arise. and Jonah does not do that. When one goes down, one is going away from the place and going to the grave. Antidote is arise. Is what Abraham does, and it is what does throughout the narrative, in the Exodus. And in the prophetic texts and this is what will happen in the eschatology. If you want the eschatological reality now you arise now.
Conversion-word "return"- de-creation can be recreation.
Jonah Gentile community understands return while Jonah doesn't. Israel doesn't convert, Jonah doesn't convert. in Ruth covenant community doesn't convert but Ruth converts and becomes a model for Boaz's conversion.
Portrayal of Character's in Jonah. How does one measure a conversion? Two canonical books one has conversion of Nineveh the other celebrates the fall of Nineveh.
Now comes after proverbs, and there are some connections with Ruth.