Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Blogs XIV

April D. DeConick has her own blog called: The Forbidden Gospels Blog. DeConick specializes in the study of the Gospel of Thomas and Mysticism in the early church. About the blog she states: "I'm setting up this blog as a place to discuss Christian Origins with historical integrity, taking seriously and skeptically the "forbidden" gospels and what they have to tell us about Jesus and the first Christians."

She is a ferverently secularist and eschews faith-based approaches. She writes:

Those in the Academy who have not dislodged themselves from their faith operate to defend, justify and explain it in terms they couch "historical" while privileging the New Testament canon and ignoring or dissing the apocrypha. Their personal religious belief in the authority of the New Testament scripture has led them to a common (and erroneous) assumption, that the New Testament texts are the only documents that tell us about the history of early Christianity. This leads to another common (and erroneous) assumption, that these canonical texts are accurate and reliable documents for the study of early Christianity. In this way, the religious walls of the canon have imprisoned the Academy for a couple of hundreds of years, holding us back from an honest historical analysis of early Christianity.

Given the tone of this remark, I think I prefer the company of James Crossley who is somewhat more restrained in his criticism of faith-based approaches. Actually, James is probably more pro-secular than he is anti-faith!

HT: Loren Rosson
Update: Over at Deinde Danny Zacharias responds to DeConick with this remark:
"Okay, I realize that we can travel back 50 years or more an find this type of scholar who is a Christian, but today--now-- who are we talking about? There are a myriad of Christian scholars who have paved the way in the study of texts outside the NT canon. But DeConick in one brushstroke paints any confessional scholar as automatically working at a level of incompetance, one that she is free from of course."

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