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Monday, December 11, 2006

Philip Davies' guest blog and some more thoughts

I was meant to mention this a bit ago but as Jim West's blog moves at electric pace I see no harm in bringing Philip Davies' guest blog to attention again.

I couldn't resist mentioning this bit. I make no comment but it is of relevance to topics raised here...
[The book exhibitors], interestingly, mix their academic and confessional lists and titles. This, of course, reflects the ethos of the Society, and publishers can’t be blamed for making money; that’s their business. I have never asked whether the annual Astronomers Meeting has a book display featuring titles on astrology (surely not papers or sessions on it?). Well, we are obviously different..for the time being.

There was also this interesting comment:
Not only is there so much talent about in the younger generations, but also a lack of dogma, a real curiosity and openness. I often wonder what questions and methods will be dominating biblical studies when some of these line up for their volumes of appreciative tribute.

In discussion I've noted some very different agendas among younger people working on Christian origins and I hope it goes beyond discussion into future publications. But I did detect more wide ranging dogmatism in the sense that there were very clear battlelines drawn between groups from different perspectives. I'm just not sure some sides will have debate with the other or even want to aste their time with the other. My suspicion was that the big debates of the 1990s might see distinct groups go off in their own direction without a care what the other is doing. E.g. Jesus Seminar and Christian Origins group in one direction, the evangelicals in another, and add whatever you want. Plenty of preaching to the converted going on I felt at many papers. I also think there has been a hardening of the secular issue particularly in the States (on both sides) and I don't think that is unrelated. I just wonder, is anyone really going to care what the other is doing? But, as I say, it was only an impression from SBL so maybe it is not worth much.


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