New Blog: Biblical Scholars and Personal Religion

Folksaretalking about Alan Lenzi’s new blogchild, “Biblical Scholars and Personal Religion.” As you can see from the introductory post, the plan is for biblical scholars to reflect on how they find the ongoing academic study of the Bible to affect their religious faith. This could be an exciting and illuminating collaborative work, and I hope scholars—especially those with long experience, but ideally a range of contributors—choose to participate.

I only have a moment today, but two thoughts come to mind, aside from my unbounded enthusiasm for the idea:

  • The academy does still suffer ambiguity concerning blogging, especially self-revelatory writing. On the one hand, the academy is still somewhat uncertain about its scholars having an online presence at all. On the other hand, there is a sense that distance learning can solve certain pressing problems, and distance teachers are increasingly inclined to break out of closed CMSs and make use of the fullness of the interactive possibilities of Web 2.0. With some 2/3 of higher educators being “contingent faculty” (non-tenure track), scholars who write on the Web under their true name are aware that what they write may come under the scrutiny of hiring committees or review committees. Eventually the residual stigma of online writing will likely pass, while we are not there yet. That said, we only get past it by making it happen: respected scholars contributing to unstructured online discourse is exactly what the doctor ordered.
  • What a great learning opportunity for M.Div. students! The mere fact that this topic is discussed by biblical scholars could really help put some nervous students at ease. And it is discussed: the topic  comes up regulary in my personal talks with colleagues. I will be watching very closely for the possibility of involving my students in some conversation about any entries.

So who will be first to thank Alan by stepping out from us nervously smiling, foot-tapping onlookers and getting out onto the dance floor?

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