Sunday, November 13, 2005

More on the Dateline Program

Now I'm really sad that I missed it. No, I shall resist and not look to see if I can buy a tape/DVD of it ... :) I did read the transcript on NBC's website. I found it to be surprisingly rancor free, and Crossan to be rather subdued (Ok, I must add, that all barbs aside, the man is a deeply learned scholar. His early work, especially on the parables, and the peasant social structures of ancient Palestine are superb. And I do think the felicitous phrase, "open commensality" is of his coinage). Actually, was also surprised by just how much it was not in the "the assured results of schoarship disproving traditional dogmatic Christianity" vein, a trope that gets way too much breathless airtime in introductory Biblical Studies courses, at least to my jaundiced eye. It was quit balanced, overall.

Justin Nickelsen (Ressourcement: Restoration in Catholic Theology) has more.
I have said elsewhere, however, that much of the scholarship today starts with the presumption of an "inept God"--one that philosophically can not enter the world. Hence, some people start with that assumption and bring it to the text of Scripture without even giving the stories a chance. This is one of the points that Ratzinger brings out in his new book, On The Way to Jesus Christ. I am not sure if Crossan is one of those who begin with this presumption.
I'm not quite sure what "philosophically cannot enter the world" really means. But, if referring to simple philosophical naturalism, then yes. For sure. I've just started reading "On The Way to Jesus Christ," so I cannot wait to hear the Pope expound on this more. He's said before (in a 1997 symposium on the state of biblical scholarship, that made it to a little book, "Biblical Scholarship in Crisis" edited, if I recall correctly, by Frs. Neuhaus and Ray Brown) that basically, the crisis in historical scholarship is really a philosophical one, not a historiographical one.

Anyone taped the program? :)

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