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Scholars and Popular Audiences

On the heels of the publication of How Jesus Became God, written for a broad, general audience, rather than for scholars, and in light of my previous post in which I indicated that some scholars are very sniffy about this kind of publication and think that it is “only” a popular kind of book, I was going to devote this post to my view of scholars in relationship to popular, trade books. As I was outlining my points in my head, I realized, Wait a second! I’ve said all this before. Not on the blog. But in a very different context indeed. In 2011 at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature there was a very large session devoted to such things. The panel presenting papers was John Dominic Crossan, Amy Jill Levine, N. T. Wright, and me. The audience was all biblical scholars, maybe a thousand of them? The following is what I said in my talk about scholars publishing for a popular audience. ****************************************************************** We as biblical scholars need to be [...]

2020-06-04T16:24:58-04:00March 28th, 2014|Book Discussions, Reflections and Ruminations|

How My Loss of Faith Affected My Scholarship

As I was making the long series of posts about my relationship with Bruce Metzger, in response to a question of how he reacted to my loss of faith, I got a number of interesting questions from readers. One that particularly struck me – as it caused me to think for a bit – was about how my loss of faith affected my scholarship. That’s a really good question. And now that I’ve thought it over a bit, I think the answer is a little surprising. To my knowledge, my loss of faith has had almost ZERO effect on my scholarship. That seems weird, since my scholarship is on the New Testament and the history of early Christianity, and you would think that if I were no longer a believer, that it would certainly change how I look at both the NT and the history of the early church.  But in fact, I don’t think I have had any change of scholarly views at all to accompany my loss of faith. FOR THE REST OF [...]

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