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8158Re: [textualcriticism] Peer review (was Marcion's Gospel)

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  • ysf_ismail
    Oct 30, 2013
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      Dr. Ehrmann

      You write:-

      "I do have to say that I do not understand the reluctance
      to accept the fact that peer-reviewed research has -- through the process itself -- been awarded
      its bona fides, and non-peer-reviewed research has not."

      Understandably so. But in the process, it sometimes excludes otherwise legitimate and painstaking research by individuals whose conclusions at times bring discomfort to the academic world. You are a best-selling author. But much of your research cannot be deemed to fall outside the consensus of modern-day scholarship. This is not to detract from the fact that your work is indeed original.

      But take for example the works of Michael Baigent or Richard Leigh. Their "work" falls outside the ambit of what can be viewed "mainstream, peer-reviewed scholarship". The popular "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" which was the source for Dan Brown's plagiarism, is viewed as radical, whacky and non-scholarly. Why? Is it because it is not peer-reviewed. They fall outside the ambit of academia.

      you write:- " If someone has research that can *not* pass the

      peer-review process, in almost every instance there is a

      reason for that."

      It is clear that their work does not pass the peer-review process, but the "reason" for this if at all, are that the conclusions they reach are extremely uncomfortable for conventional scholarship.

      What then is the criteria? Is it perhaps that academia also has its artificial boundaries erected and will not traverse territory which could really "upset the apple-cart", proverbially speaking?

      Kind Regards

      Yusuf Ismail

      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone.

      From: "Ehrman, Bart D" <behrman@...>
      Sender: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 21:43:15 +0000
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com<textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com>
      ReplyTo: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] Peer review (was Marcion's Gospel)

       

           Thanks.  I understand now.  I think David is perfectly right to seek outside help for his work.  And I think it is perfectly understandable that established scholars, with a limited number of hours in a day, choose rather to attend instead to peer-reviewed scholarship.   Best to all,

       

      -          Bart Ehrman

       

      Bart D. Ehrman

      James A. Gray Professor

      Department of Religious Studies

      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

       

      Please Join My New Blog: Christianity in Antiquity (CIA): The Bart Ehrman Blog

      At www.ehrmanblog.org

       

       

       

      From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of James Miller
      Sent: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 4:33 PM
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [textualcriticism] Peer review (was Marcion's Gospel)

       

       

      --------------------------------------------

      On Thu, 10/31/13, Ehrman, Bart D <behrman@...> wrote:

        I’ve been an outsider to much of this conversation,
      but I do have to say that I do not understand the reluctance
      to accept the fact that peer-reviewed
        research has -- through the process itself -- been awarded
      its bona fides, and non-peer-reviewed research has
      not.  Is someone challenging that view?
         
           
      Or to put it differently: if someone has a good case to make
      (on any academic topic whatsoever), what is the argument
      *against* making this case
        available in a peer-reviewed format? 
         
          
       If someone has research that can *not* pass the
      peer-review process, in almost every instance there is a
      reason for that.

      Perhaps you'll want to take a look at David's site, Bart. That would explain a lot. But in case you're not inclined to do so owing to the fact that he's not publishing his findings in peer-reviewed journals, I'll offer some crib notes. David appears to be an older gent whose main work in life has been in a field not very closely related to TC, biblical studies, or the humanities in general (he seems to have been involved in the tech field). He recently converted to Christianity after being an agnostic/atheist--sort of the opposite path to what you've taken, if I understand correctly. Through his study of Christianity in connection with that conversion, David got interested in issues surrounding the biblical text. As he researches these issues, he writes down his findings: his web site is a sort of collection of those findings. In order to push the inquiries and research he's been doing a bit further, he has now turned to this list, where he can,
      presumably, find more "expert opinions" (you've already put him on the trail of some research in his area that he was apparently unaware of). Is that a fair summary, David?

      The question in connection with this thread, then, should be not whether or not peer-reviewed publishing is good or bad: that's obviously not at issue in the current circumstance. It's a bit too far beyond the current state of the discussion. For someone on this list to recommend to David, on the basis of reading and assessing his work, that he submit something for peer-reviewed publication might be appropriate--presuming someone actually reads it. But even then a preliminary question like how would someone with no formal training in this field and who came to it late in life even go about submitting something for peer-reviewed publication? Or if David feels he's not ready for that, or if some "expert" here deems his work too immature for the peer review process, will he still be allowed to interact with the experts and to deepen his understanding of the issues he's researching? Those questions are more germane to the matter at hand. Depending on your
      answer, Bart, David's research may or may not progress further. What say you? Or are you ready to dispense summary judgment that David's research "can *not* pass the peer-review process?"

      My own guess would be that David is not, at this point, even considering peer-reviewed publishing. Rather, he's looking to interact with those better informed in order to deepen his knowledge of the topics he's been researching. In any event, as I said, the virtues of the peer-review system appear to be not terribly relevant to David's recent inquiries. Shall we blame Tommy for dragging this red herring across David's path? :)

      James

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