Archive for November 11th, 2010

SBL and So-called Unscientific Scholarship

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

I deliberately chose not to enter the fray some months ago when Michael Fox of the University of Wisconsin, Madison wrote his jeremiad against “faith-based study” of the Bible, an open letter to all members of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). Only secular approaches and methods are to be allowed.

Apart from astonishment at the sheer quantity of problems with his position, my main reaction at the time, and even more so after reading the catalog of sections and papers for the SBL meeting that starts in a week, is this: if people and papers dealing with the text from a particular religious or ideological perspective are banned from SBL, there will no longer be an SBL.

Theological, feminist, postcolonial, queer, political, etc.; these are the adjectives du jour. This is not inappropriate, nor does it mean that biblical scholarship has given up on archaeology, history, literature, etc. But these things are no longer ends in themselves for most of us. This is not your parents’ SBL. Though it might be your grandparents’.

Announcing the Journal for the Study of Paul & His Letters

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

As a member of the editorial board of a new journal, I am pleased to announce the launching of the Journal for the Study of Paul and his Letters, edited by Michael Bird and Nijay Gupta. The journal’s website, courtesy of publisher Eisenbrauns, is already up here along with a small sample issue, consisting of an introduction to the journal and an article by Susan Eastman on Philippians 2:6-11. The first full issue will appear next fall, with two contributions by yours truly and of course others.

This should be a great–and affordable–journal, one to which individuals and institutions alike should subscribe.