Passing on here notice of an article currently being discussed on the iidb site.
The article is by biblical scholar Michael V. Fox and titled “Bible Scholarhip and Faith-Based Study: My View” posted on the SBL site. A breath of fresh air in this miasmic field. I find it encouraging also to see I’m not alone in detecting the strange partnership between conservative christian “scholarship” and postmodernism — as I’ve alluded to in my discussions of Richard Bauckham’s “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”.
Some excerpts from Fox’s article:
In my view, faith-based study has no place in academic scholarship, whether the object of study is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or Homer. Faith-based study is a different realm of intellectual activity that can dip into Bible scholarship for its own purposes, but cannot contribute to it.
Scholarship rests on evidence. Faith, by definition, is belief when evidence is absent.
Faith-based Bible study is not part of scholarship even if some of its postulates turn out to be true. If scholarship, such as epigraphy and archaeology, should one day prove the existence of a Davidic empire, faith-based study will have had no part in the discovery (even if some epigraphers incidentally hold faith of one sort or another) because it starts with the conclusions it wishes to reach.
There is an atmosphere abroad in academia (loosely associated with postmodernisms) that tolerates and even encourages ideological scholarship and advocacy instruction. Some conservative religionists have picked this up. I have heard students, and read authors, who justify their biases by the rhetoric of postmodern self-indulgence. Since no one is viewpoint neutral and every one has presuppositions, why exclude Christian presuppositions? Why allow the premise of errancy but not of inerrancy? Such sophistry can be picked apart, but the climate does favor it.
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