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Sunday, September 11, 2005

"Minimalism", "Copenhagen School", or what?

I've been following the debate on the blogs (esp. Jim West's) and the Biblical Studies discussion group on the whole minimalism thing as an outsider. One problem that repeatedly comes up is how to define certain people, esp. Thompson, Lemche, Whitelam, and Davies who seemed to get lumped together. Just one comment on this really and this may have been said before and rejcted or accepted for all I know. It seems to me, an outsider, that the gang of four are being defined through what they are NOT, as is so often the case in imposed definition. Their books, at least from what I've seen, are each recognisibly different. But perhaps the thing that defines them is the difference from the ways in which traditional 'history of Israel' was done. Is that fair? If so, does that make the already problematic definitions of 'minimalism', 'Copenhagen school' or even 'Sheffield school' effectively redundant if they are largely connected by what they are not?

Before people fire at me remember those were the comments of a poor little non-specialist just trying to make sense of a dangerous world. Be gentle.


Blogger Jim said...

I think your assesment is very insightful. Opponents of the new methodology are simply lumping all its representatives together into a sort of common whipping boy they derisively call, "minimalism".

September 12, 2005

Anonymous steph said...


September 12, 2005


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