Thursday, November 15, 2007

Biblio-Blogger Lunch at SBL in San Diego

Well, the whole Cook family is off the SBL later today. I should be doing a little blogging from there, so stay tuned.

There will be a Biblio-Blogger lunch on Sunday at the SBL. We are meeting at the entrance to the book exhibit at 11:30 am (or as close to that as possible) and head out for lunch. Chris has promised to scout out a good place to eat so those who need to be at 1:00 sessions can be there on time.

Now, here's a repeat post that seems appropriate for today:

The SBL Forum has a great essay just posted, "Bible Scholar on an Airplane" (click here). The author, Samuel Thomas, a biblical scholar, makes some apt observations about the perils of revealing our profession in public, especially in situations where one is somewhat trapped. Why is it that everyone seems to be an expert on religion? Why is it that people so easily assume they are on the same religous wavelength with me?? Here is a small excerpt:

I have developed over the years several different responses to questions about "what I do for a living." In the right settings — namely those in which my words are unlikely to be misunderstood or misconstrued — I am perfectly happy to discuss my livelihood and engage people on topics in which I am heavily invested, and I may even claim the Bible scholar epithet. But despite some happy occasions, my dilemma persists; whatever the actual odds of finding myself in an undesirable situation, the danger always lurks that my interlocutor will readily make assumptions about me and the real nature of my work — assumptions that may or may not correspond to my own. He may find my approach to the study of the Bible to be too liberal, overly academic, unnecessarily constraining, exceedingly parochial, heretical, anachronistic, tedious, narrow, or pluralistic. In other words, what I do can become more about who he is and what he thinks I should be doing. This is a problem that I suspect generally does not obtain in the life of the accountant and the salesman, or for that matter the chemist or the mathematician.


Blogger Allen said...

Dr. Cook,
That is a fascinating post and one that resonates with not only those of us who have graduated from VTS, but I'm sure also current students. Maybe you could teach a class or lead a forum: "Unexpected ways that your vocation could get you into trouble" or some such.

Everyone's got an opinion on the Bible and on God, from my mechanic to the barber that I tried out last week. I keep trying to tell myself that this is a good thing, but it's a little scary when you're sitting in the chair about to get your hair cut!

Sat Nov 17, 09:02:00 AM GMT-5  

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