I would like to bring before this forum a few questions about scholarship.
Please see below concerning my reasoning for these questions and their
relationship to textual criticism.
What is the essence of scholarship? (or, Is there a sine qua non of
scholarship? If so, what is it?)
What are the inherent values of scholarship? (I am not referring here to
methodology but its constituent elements).
What are the requirements to be a scholar? (educational background, formal
training in the subject area, record of publication, adherence to one of the
standard theories of the discipline, etc.).
What makes scholarship scholarship?
What are the criteria which distinguish between good and bad scholarship?
Do you know of any articles/books which deal with these issues?
Reason for questions: I am researching an aspect of Venezuelan culture as a
missionary in a course via Internet called Applied Research Techniques
offered by Dr. Stan Nussbaum of Global Mapping International in Colorado
Springs. Since I am involved in theological education through a local
seminary and the Latin American Theological Fraternity, this aspect (which
is the lukewarm reception of the Latin American Theological Fraternity in
Venezuela) causes a great amount of consternation on my part. On the one
hand, I agree with many Latin American scholars that what we need is not
more scholarship but praxis or concrete action in the here and now (see for
example the writings of Gutierrez, Segundo, L. Boff, C. Boff, among many
others). On the other hand, I am not willing to give up my Hatch and
Redpath, Patristic Greek Lexicon, etc. and hit the streets (caution: I am
not saying that the scholars mentioned above would give up their books
either). I am looking for a different approach to the problem by trying to
identify the values of scholarship in the world-wide community and
interfacing that with Venezuelan culture (by means of field research in this
course). I would like to see what values of scholarship are already valued
in Venezuelan culture.
Relation to TC: While these questions do not apply directly to TC, I
approach this forum for a specific purpose. Of all the disciplines
associated with Biblical Studies, perhaps TC can claim to be the most
scientific (i.e., empirical, repeatable, verifiable, susceptible to
falsification, etc). Either a certain variant exists or it doesn't.
Therefore, it seems to me to be most appropriate to bring these questions to
Thanks for your time and cooperation.
James A. Gehman, M.A.
Apartado 75304, El Marques
Caracas D.F., 1070-A
011 (582) 241-2834
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