. . . . . what is coming home for me in a very real way is just how much the traditions are safe-guarded by the dominant group – be it the mainstream churches or the academy – and how far the dominant group will go to protect them. The interests and preservation of those interests often become the end-all, even at the expense of historical truth. The rationalizations, the apologies, the ‘buts’, the tortured exegesis, the negative labeling, the side-stepping, the illogical claims accumulate until they create an insurmountable wall that preserves both church and academy, which remain (uncomfortably so for me) symbiotic.
The entrenchment of the academy is particularly worrisome for me. Scholars’ works are often spun by other scholars, not to really engage in authentic critical debate or review, but to cast the works in such a way that they can be dismissed (if they don’t support the entrenchment) or engaged (if they do). . . . . The quest for historical knowledge does not appear to me to be the major concern. It usually plays back seat to other issues including the self-preservation of the ideas and traditions of the dominant parties – those who control the churches, and the academy with its long history of alliance with the churches.
I link above to April’s comments on her site, and some of the discussion (and related links) on FRDB.
Forgive me if I happen to see something of James McGrath’s recent exchanges described in the above — although April herself is certainly no “mythicist”.
I am also surprised how her publication The Thirteenth Apostle seems to have made less impact on the popular notion of the “good Judas” than I had expected.
Good grief! If this is the fate of challenging ideas within the guild, anyone with a mythical Jesus view would need rocks in his head to even touch the subject with a mainstream academic.
Not quite on the same wave, but it reminds me of how Gregory Riley’s work in Resurrection Reconsidered was not widely known although his arguments just happened to appear later (with no acknowledged link to Riley’s work, so presumably by sheer coincidence) in a work of the highly marketable author Elaine Pagels. (When Robert Price published the same observation, it was disheartening to think how things really do seem to work in the real world of academe.)
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