11499Re: Dr. Ehrman... worth $59.95?
- Sep 22, 2005--- In email@example.com, "janahooks" <janahooks@y...>
> Oh,my. What have I done? ;) I read some of this:want
> > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gnosticism2/message/10820
> My favorite line:
> >Sweeeeeet Pleromatalk about conflicting reports!<
> Really, though, a fair and helpful critique. Perhaps you might
> to delete these posts of mine before we set him off again....;)Now, Jana, why on earth would you not want to see me set off again?
I've had my own share of trouble accessing archives lately, not to
mention ongoing difficulty utilizing the Search feature ever since
Yahoo's last major overhaul, but if memory serves, you didn't miss
much in those initial posts on the subject (toward the end of 2003).
If I recall correctly, the whole thing started as a means of
demonstrating how one might apply some critical thinking to the
various books we might encounter on the subject of Gnosticism. After
all, if we don't wish to be swayed by the bias of a given author, we
would do well to recognize it from the start. I believe that Pagels
and Ehrman were the first names to come up in a discussion of how
authors often target multiple audiences with differnt works, and
since we hadn't really dealt with *him* previously (and because we
shared the UNC connection), I decided to run with it.
In truth, as you are well aware, I have tried to inject my posts on
this subject with a certain degree of humor. Having made that
admission, however, I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that
I haven't been genuinely concerned by things I have either read or
heard in person. If this were a group on Early Christianity, we
would likely have some of his books listed as recommended reading,
but since our focus and his area of specialization differ, then I
would refer someone to his works only if I were confident that the
context would be kept in mind. FWIW, I have yet to hear anyone
express dissatisfaction with any titles from the video series, but
again, they were looking at them for the broader subject matter that
the tapes were designed to convey.
Indeed, Ehrman is a charming and engaging speaker, and certainly a
prolific and accessible writer, but I can't help but worry at how
Gnosticism will be percieved by the public if the professor's works
persist in having such popular appeal among the pistic masses, even
among those who may have at least begun to question their religion.
After all, as we have said so often in the past, becoming disgruntled
with the traditional Church and learning that there is much more to
the history of Christianity than most of us were ever taught are,
quite simply, NOT synonymous with Gnosticism.
Similarly, have I even commented here yet how surprised I was to see
an entire shelf dedicated to "Gnosis" on my last visits to Barnes &
Noble? At first it wasn't even so much a "surprise" since we have
all seen this day coming, but it *was*, at least, a pleasant
observation. That soon gave way to the normal apprehension I might
have felt if I had been led by my usual, cynical nature. As I
started reading the titles of the books gathered there, I'm sure I
must have started visibly shaking my head in disbelief. If such is
what will characterize Gnosticism in the public mind, then Gnostic
texts and groups may well continue to be demonized, misunderstood, or
otherwise (fittingly) swept back under the sands of time.
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