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RE: [XTalk] RE: The Five Gospels

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... far as methodology goes, that s beside the point. The unattainability of a purely detached standpoint does not call into question the attempt to be
    Message 1 of 151 , Oct 5, 2004
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      John C. Poirier says:

      >>"Scholarly detachment"? Yes. *Pure* "scholarly detachment? No, but as
      far as methodology goes, that's beside the point. The unattainability of a
      purely detached standpoint does not call into question the attempt to be
      totally detached, any more than the unattainability of a purely random
      number calls into question the application of statistical methods. (What I
      am railing against, of course, is one of the several bogus arguments that
      make up the postmodernist approach: *viz.* the argument that 100%
      objectivity is impossible, therefore it is wrong or misguided to attempt to
      be objective.)<<

      I'd like to take issue with your statement that postmodernists argue that
      "100% objectivity is impossible, therefore it is wrong or misguided to
      attempt to be objective." Who says this? If you can find anyone, I'll bet
      money it is a extremist position. There are also modernists who still
      passionately maintain that historians are, by rigorous application of
      professional standards and peer review, able to reconstruct *actual* history
      that can be considered accurate beyond reasonable doubt. This too is a
      extreme position (although it once was pretty much the scholarly standard,
      and is still the popular conception of history).

      >>At the same time, it is possible to wield the arguments suggested by an
      objective approach, yet to do so with obvious emotion, *particularly* if the
      emotion has been released by one's commitment to the conclusions of those
      arguments. So in that sense "scholarly detachment" and "emotion-filled
      response" are perhaps not purely antithetical, because the emotion might
      actually be triggered by the pursuit of better *scholarship*. In other
      word, "emotional" doesn't always mean "reactionary". Certainly one does not
      have to be completely emotionless to be committed to the best methods.<<

      Psychologically, "emotional" *always* means "reactionary." It is impossible
      to exhibit a totally "reasoned" emotional response, and the effect of
      emotion on the reasoning process is far from insignificant. Our individual
      motivations for studying history, however the passion has been kindled,
      needs to be channeled in such a way that we do not put the cart before the
      horse. In effect, we have to answer the basic question: "Why is an
      historical reconstruction of early Christian (or Jewish, etc) origins
      important to me?" If the answer is anything like "Because I have to know
      that the things I was taught or strongly believe about those subjects are
      validated and vindicated" then we are skipping down the primrose path. The
      answer really needs to be "Because I want to understand how it came to be in
      its own time and place, which will help me/us make that faith relevant for
      us today.

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • Rikk Watts
      Already on it Tks Bob.
      Message 151 of 151 , Oct 8, 2004
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        Already on it

        Tks Bob.


        On 8/10/04 5:30 AM, "Bob Webb" <webb.bob@...> wrote:

        >
        > Mark and Rikk,
        >
        > You should probably do it soon. Volume 1 had alrady gone out of print, but I
        > convinced Continuum to re-print it so that libraries would be able to
        > purchase the complete run of the journal. I think they may not have
        > reprinted enough.
        >
        > Bob Webb.
        >
        >
        >
        >>> our library doesn't yet take JSHJ (sorry, Bob! I'm
        >>> making moves to rectify this).
        >> Me too! Just this very day in fact...
        >
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