Archives of Reception of the Bible

Past blogging in more ways than one.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Christian Origins list - Don't do it!

I really don't get it. Here we have a new discussion list which is avowedly sectarian. Only those with certain views are acceptable as participants and they even have their own creed to assent to - one rather unfortunately couched in religious terms. I must admit to wondering if the likes of Philip Esler would qualify here. I know I don't (though I reject the terms this is all put in - to me a belief in God does not oppose a belief in criticism except in the more fundamentalistic expressions of Christianity).

But won't the participants in the list one day have to come out of their conclave and expose their ideas to the rest of the academic world (which is still religious and won't have gone away in the meantime). At which point, a truly full and academic discussion can take place. Of course, if you think that religious commitment of any kind makes historical criticism 'impossible' as April DeConick would have it, then perhaps such exposure to criticism won't even be necessary because it is per se bad criticism.

Give me a break. I'll stay out here in the big, bad world with everyone in it, open to question for my every assertion. Why don't you all do the same? Please.


At 11:25 pm, Blogger Colin said...

Hey John. Is the point of contention here about secular "objectivity" or is it about disciplinary intent? It seems that Dr. DeConick at least is attempting to operate within the realm of Christian origins as an historian and not a theologian. Even though I'm a Christian I frankly don't have a beef with her intent (though my level of hope for her success may be rather limited). I suppose if that's the club that I'm being left out of as a product of my faith I don't really care much. I don't want to try to recover a world that is gone and will never return, I want to know how the things written in those times have and do affect people who read them. Maybe I'm odd that way. But if the "academics" on that blog-roll and their ilk aren't inviting me to go hang at the mall with them, that's just fine. I never liked the mall much anyways.

Colin Toffelmire


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