Be sure to read Danny Zacharias’ excellent summary of the recent debate surrounding Berlinblau’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education critiquing SBL.
Danny’s own refections are definitely worth reading. E.g.,
It seems clear to me that the entire point of the article is to say that the SBL isn’t secular enough. Quote: “The society needs to devote thought and resources to the creation of a form of biblical scholarship that goes beyond theology and ecumenical dialogue. That would require exploring ways to speak about the Bible that are not specifically Jewish or Episcopalian or Lutheran. In so doing, the SBL would be required to suspend or, ideally, abandon its ecumenical model. In its place, a harder secular model would be advocated.”
Not even a secular scholar like James Crossley would agree with this, if I understand him correctly. We need more represenation of secular scholars to dialogue with, but a secular model does not need to become the protocol.
What exactly does Berlinerblau understand a secular model to be? And why is it better than any other existing model? This kind of thought always puzzles me- let’s take away one set of presuppositions (confessional) and replace them with another (secular) and then pat ourselves on the back for being more enlightened.