All Things Bright and Biblical: Biblical Studies as Religious Studies and as Theology

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Let me start this post with a quote from an alumnus of the Religion program at Butler University, something that he said on Facebook. Karl Hofstetter provides one of my favorite answers to the question “What can you do with a degree in religion?”

This post began several years ago as I started collecting posts related to the different sorts of things that “biblical studies” can sometimes be in different contexts, a state of affairs that creates confusion among some outside of academic circles. At seminaries, the approach to biblical studies can be decidedly theological. This is true whether one is talking about a conservative seminary that restricts faculty and students from pursuing the application of, or embracing the conclusions of, methods such historical criticism; or a liberal seminary that is completely on board with those methods. The latter overlap much more with the literary, historical, and postmodern approaches that are typical of secular scholarship, and can participate to a large extent in a shared endeavor on that basis. Yet there is still a distinction inasmuch as at seminaries, the aim is to serve the needs of church or synagogue.

Krista - Dalton - Pedagogy - Biblical - Studies

Krista Dalton wrote about “Creative Pedagogy in the Biblical Studies Classroom.” Here’s how her piece begins: “Teaching a Bible class typically involves disrupting my students’ preconceptions—illuminating historical context, complicating the composition of stories and manuscripts, and interjecting ancient meaning obscured by time and translation. With such focus on uncovering the Bible’s original context with a scholarly lens, I devised an end-of-semester assignment that would allow for my students’ own textual experimentation.”

What’s the Deal with Theological Interpretation?

Teaching - Bible - Schools - News - Review

Also, the teaching of the Bible in public schools has been in the news lately. And from this review of Jacqueline Vayntrub’s book Beyond Orality:

Beyond Orality is an indispensable work on aesthetics, hermeneutics, and book history for...
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