Daily Archives: 27 Oct 2017

I Know There are a Lot of Journals…

And I’m partial to SJOT because, well, I’m an editor (and it’s a superb journal).  But among the journals a real gem, and one you may not be all that familiar with, is the Theologische Zeitschrift produced by the faculty of the University of Basel.  It’s just plain good.

Founded in 1945 by Karl Ludwig Schmidt, the Theologische Zeitschrift (ThZ) is published by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Basel. The editors are professors Reinhold Bernhardt (Systematic/Dogmatic Theology) and Hans-Peter Mathys (Old Testament). The periodical, which is published with the support of the “Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences” is not devoted to any field of theology in particular. It follows the liberal Basel tradition and has a wide interdisciplinary, international and interconfessional horizon. In keeping with this international outlook, it is multi-lingual. German, French and English texts are accepted. ThZ has a worldwide circulation, and is read in 30 countries on almost all continents. Since its foundation, the journal’s aim has been to promote inter- and intra-disciplinary dialogue on theology. For that reason, the ThZ publishes research papers (albeit only original articles) and book reviews taken from all areas of theology and related fields – especially articles that are of interest to more than one field of theology.

I recommend it to you for your personal library.  And if your institutional library doesn’t have it, you should request they carry it.

SBL’s ‘Diversity’ is A Farce, and SBL Sessions About as Homogeneous as You Can Imagine

If SBL really believed in diversity and the hearing of as many voices and perspectives (within the community of scholars, not including outside nutbags) as possible it would initiate a ‘one paper per person per annual meeting’ policy.

The reason we hear the same people over and over again, year after year, is because SBL isn’t as interested in diversity as it is offering ‘big names’ to ‘draw in the crowds’ and selling conference attendance.

“Prof NT White will be speaking at 4 sessions this year.  Come and hear the great exegetical master!” or something very akin to it is a looming ghost hanging over every meeting.

Of course SBL says there are reasons that they don’t have such a policy but the real reason is because the more high profile scholars they can shove into the program, the better the turnout will be.  And the better the turnout, the more registration fees they can count on.

Further- and I hope no one I know takes this personally- you shouldn’t because I’ve said it before and I have no idea who is presenting what or how many times they’re doing it this year- there are too many scholars who are more than happy to read two or three papers at a meeting.  But why?  Why do you feel that what you have to say is so important that someone else doesn’t deserve a hearing?

Why do too few scholars practice the fine art of self control and simply refuse to present more than one paper?

Oh sure, there’s the practical reason: ‘if I don’t present, my institution won’t pay for me to attend.  So I have to propose papers to a number of sessions to guarantee acceptance at at least one’.

Ok, fine.  Do that.  But as soon as you find out that a paper has been accepted in one session, drop out of the others.  Withdraw your proposal.  You’re still presenting and your reason for proposing to several sessions is now moot.  So why still insist on taking multiple spaces?

Ego.  That’s why.  Ego and resume packing.  Be honest.  That’s why.

On the other hand, you can actually believe in and practice diversity.  You can surrender one of your many slots to lesser knowns if you’re NT White.  Or one of your slots to someone who probably has something at least as interesting to say as you do.

We’ve all been at SBL sessions where presenters bored us to coma and we wondered how on earth their poor students put up with their mindless ramblings day after day (or how they got a position in the first place… they must know someone…).  Why do they feel compelled to ramble so?

It sort of makes you wonder how much better it would all be, how much more scholarly, how much more thought provoking, if a guy or gal no one has heard of outside their tiny college got a slot to fill instead of Professor Pompous hogging all the podium time.

Diversity.  Live it, or at least be decent enough to stop talking about it.  SBL will be better when it actually practices diversity instead of simply paying it lip service; when it enforces a policy of one paper per presenter…

What Did the Reformers Think They Were Doing

Here’s a very fine essay by the very wise Timothy George.

‘I Was a Stranger, and You Did Not Take Me In…’

There are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who are going to wind up in hell because they have adopted Trumpian hatred instead of Christian compassion.

A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who entered the United States from Mexico without permission a decade ago is potentially facing deportation after having to go through a Border Patrol checkpoint in South Texas for emergency gallbladder surgery, a family lawyer said Thursday.

Look what this country has become.  A disgrace.  A godless disgrace.

The New And Improved German Bible Society App

Learn about it here.  Download it for iOs  here.