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« Bleak House 1-29 | Main | The fix is in »

January 31, 2006

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Clanger

At their heart, all organised religions demand the unquestioning acceptance of specific tenets, a priori (in the sense of 'made before or without examination').

This of course, is the polar opposite of good scholarship.

So any sane person would consider religious belief and academic study to be as oil and water, and not waste their time optimistically shaking the bottle.

Scholars can be religious, and religious folk can be scholars, certainly, but where the two loyalties clash in a cognitive venn diagram, either one or both will be compromised.

A good analogy for different faiths (catholics, methodists, muslims etc) would be different groups of rugby supporters.

The analogy may be extended with different groups of scholars (say structuralists, post-modernists etc) represented by football supporters (I believe the Americans call it 'soccer').

So next time someone exhorts you to waste your precious research time entertaining whatever madcap concepts are currently trendy down your local church, you might grasp the analogy with both hands and point out that, lovely as such folk might be, their ball is simply the wrong shape.

DavidE

"to critique, challenge, and appropriate standards of proof and evidence"

I'm confused. Is 'appropriate' a verb or an adjective in this sentence? It makes no sense either way.

And can I accept the proof and evidence of a Whirlwind or a Burning Bush?

And the proposal uses the word "infuse", which I usually associate with cooking, but which also has Protestant roots in reference to the Holy Spirit or Divine Grace.

Either way the whole thing seems half-baked.

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