2007-05-26

Another cries out, “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

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by Neil Godfrey

Intenet Infidels Discussion Board (IIDB) has a discussion thread on some recently/about to be published views of Professor of philosophy and religious studies Hector Avalos:

The primary interest is a Society of Biblical Literature article by Avalos, “The Ideology of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Demise of an Academic Profession“. But there is also reference to a new publication due out about now . . . . .

The End of Biblical Studies” — this link takes you to the “www.bookfinder.com” search results — click on a price to go to a bookseller site like amazon. But how come amazon.co.uk offers a “second hand” copy before the book is even released according to the other sites — and at a higher price?! 😕

A few excerpts (if you’re like me and don’t like being given more stuff to read) from the article:

The idea that the Bible should be studied because it is influential or because there is “demand” can no longer be so uncritically accepted. Most biblical scholars do not see themselves as complicit in the creation of that influence and privilege for the Bible. But scholars have helped to create this influence and bibliolatry by translating and “updating” this text while leaving thousands of non-biblical texts untranslated. Biblical scholars participate in the privileging of the Bible by not sufficiently emphasizing to students and lay readers how alien and irrelevant biblical notions are for the modern world. . . . If we were really doing a good job, then less people might want to read the Bible, not more. That would mean the end of biblical studies . . . .

. . . . One thing is clear to me: If biblical studies is to survive in academia, it must move beyond its still religionist, Euroamerican, and bibliolatrous orientation and offer us a more convincing rationale for how it will benefit our broader world and not just faith communities.

But if you’re like me you’re not content with excerpts and will insist on reading the whole damn thing!

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Neil Godfrey

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