2014-09-27

New Page Added — a who’s who of contemporary mythicists and others open to the question

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by Neil Godfrey

I have added a new page in the side bar for ready reference: WHO’s WHO: Mythicists and Mythicist Agnostics

Do add comments where you can see a need for any corrections or additions. Or email: see the Contact Info page for details.

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Neil Godfrey

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7 thoughts on “New Page Added — a who’s who of contemporary mythicists and others open to the question”

  1. I can see that this is becoming a neverending project. Already I have made major updates.

    As I look at names like Avalos, Thompson, even Onfray!, Dawkins, Hitchens, Coyne (who recently banned McGrath from his blog for unprofessional misrepresentation), Davies, Droge, Noll and Wells — McGrath’s and West’s and Hoffmann’s shrill cries that mythicism is “pseudoscholarship” and “bunk” and akin to “creationism and holocaust denial” are starting to look like frantic desperation against the rising tide.

  2. I’m a little surprised there are so from liberal/unchurched backgrounds. The stereotype of a critical scholar in my mind starts out as a conservative Christian, develops a devoted interest in the Bible, and then gradually learns to see it critically rather than through the lens of faith. That said, I’m interested in mythicism and my upbringing is liberal Christian; maybe I shouldn’t be surprised others have had the same experience.

    Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m more curious about the specific religious background of the people in the “Liberal or No Church Background”. I wonder how many were raised (like I was) in liberal/mainline Protestant families vs. how many in secular/atheist but ancestrally Christian families vs. how many (if any) Jews (and how many from practicing vs. secular/atheist families) vs. how many (if any) other non-Christian backgrounds. I’m curious, but I doubt you could include that much detail in this Who’s Who without it becoming distracting.

    1. The myth of “once a fundamentalist always a fundamentalist” (coined by “N.T. Wrong”) and the embittered anti-Christian ex-fundamenatalist who hates Jesus enough to be motivated to prove he didn’t exist is all part of the smear campaign of anti-mythicist scholars like Jim West, Joseph Hoffmann, Maurice Casey and is perpetuated by others such as James Crossley and Deane Galbraith. Stephanie Fisher was, it appears, the channel for Maurice Casey’s information about people like me and she relied upon a single source for my bio that was written specifically as a “testimony” for ex-cultists (not a general or anything like a complete bio) and suppressed all details included there that contradicted the innuendo and details she wanted Casey to publish. After reading that I decided to check out the bios of the others Casey claimed to outline in his book and the prototype of this chart was the result.

      And I can already see from the wealth of information that is accruing that the chart’s original design as a rebuttal to the “once a fundamentalist” myth is inadequate. Probably need to have multiple charts or graphs.

      Before I go down that path, however, I will try to add a little more detail to each of the names.

      Someone else has also suggested a special category for Jews but I am reluctant to go down the line of ethnic breakdowns. There are also simply too many shades of grey for any clear classifications even at the religious/philosophical level. So many people go through different phases in their own life journeys.

      1. Well, I certainly didn’t intend it as a smear. Actually, I have a lot of respect for people who learn to read the Bible critically despite what they were taught in Sunday school (or during their adult conversion experiences). The kernel of truth behind the stereotype, I think, is that many people (not everybody) require a reason, something in their own biograohy, to get deeply interested in the Bible in the first place (very broadly true of any area of research: people tend to gravitate toward what’s personally relevant to them).

  3. Irony of ironies

    Theologian McGrath’s explicitly unstated analogy:

    Mythicists are in relation to creationists as NT scholars are in relation to scientists (specifically Evolutionary biologists). Then here come a real flesh and blood Evolutionary biologist Prof. Jerry Coyne banning theologian McGrath from his *website*

    1. There could not have been a more deserving ban. McGrath like so many of his peers so desperately strives to be recognized in the public eye as the equal of scholars in other faculties but I keep getting winks and nudges from scientists and others who just roll their eyes at the thought of “Theology” being a serious equivalent to scholarship. Everyone knows they are there as a result of historical privilege — a vestigial organ from the medieval era.

      Some do produce very respectable work, no doubt. But the foundation rests upon the foundational faith or doctrine of Christianity that God acted in history. What they call history is actually an exploration of their faith or Christian doctrine and attempts to rewrite the myth for modern sensibilities.

    2. Ironically, Maurice Casey complained that I could not possibly understand the arguments of people like him and James Crossley, because I had had a training in science.

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