Trojan Hobby Horse

03/08/2009 at 09:09 Leave a comment

Elevated from the comments:

A minor classic from Leon from Crossley’s blog:

“One of the most interesting questions to ask about monsters is: What are the real-life monsters that fictional monsters are meant to represent? It’s a question a lot of people ask. There is pobably more than one answer to the question. Apart from the violent monsters that inhabit our world, is there anything more monstrous than an academic field that suppresses academic freedom and erases the historical evidence of a people’s culture? Ghastly.

One of the fears that ancient peoples had was that another culture could come along and wipe out their own history and culture — as if they had never existed. It is so easy to get erased. That could explain some of the monsters in ancient literature and folklore. It is a fear based on real danger.

That danger persists in modern NT scholarship with its penchant to disappear Jewish history of the 1st century and the historical, Jewish Jesus. One could give dozens and hundreds of examples of this. William Arnal’s “The Symbolic Jesus” erases everything from Jewish culture except Temple, rituals, and purity concerns. He trivializes and demeans the culture. The lesson is that unrestrained power produces monsters in both the real and fictional worlds.

Am I ratcheting up the rhetoric? Perhaps. What are the powerless to do? It’s interesting that we look for mosnters everywhere, over there, somewhere else, but never in some of the nasty things our own academic culture does. But the scariest monsters are those closest to home. Of course, you could just erase this point from your consciousness. But then, that would be monstrous, wouldn’t it?”

There are more and more Hudson comments on the latest entry too.

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Geoff Hudson: Bottomless Font of Dilettantism A Real Comment, Believe It Or Not

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