The Bible and Academy


It is well known that the Western university gradually evolved from the monastic stadium via the cathedral schools of the twelfth century to become the remarkably vigorous and interdisciplinary European institutions of higher learning that transformed Christian intellectual culture in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It is equally well known that subsequent disciplinary developments in higher education, including the founding and flourishing of many of the most prestigious of North American universities, ...

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The Bible and the University

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It is well known that the Western university gradually evolved from the monastic stadium via the cathedral schools of the twelfth century to become the remarkably vigorous and interdisciplinary European institutions of higher learning that transformed Christian intellectual culture in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It is equally well known that subsequent disciplinary developments in higher education, including the founding and flourishing of many of the most prestigious of North American universities, owe equally to the Protestant and perhaps particularly Calvinist influence. But that the secularized modern university that descended from these developments is now in something of an identity crisis is becoming widely – and often awkwardly – apparent. The reason most often given for the crisis is our general failure to produce a morally or spiritually persuasive substitute for the authority that undergirded the intellectual culture of our predecessors. This is frequently also a reason for the discomfort many experience in trying to address the problem, for it requires an acknowledgement, at least, that the secularization hypothesis has proven inadequate as a basis for the sustaining of coherence and general intelligibility in the university curriculum. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the disciplines of biblical studies and theology, which once were the anchor or common point of reference for theological thought, but which are now both marginalized in the curriculum and internally divided as to meaning and purpose, even where the Church itself is concerned. In this final volume of the Scripture and Hermeneutic Series, a group of distinguished scholars have sought to understand the role of the Bible in relation to the disciplines in a fresh way. Offered in a spirit of humility and experimentally, the essays here consider the historic role of the Bible in the university, the status of theological reflection regarding Scripture among the disciplines today, the special role of Scripture in the development of law, the humanities and social sciences, and finally, the way the Bible speaks to issues of academic freedom, intellectual tolerance, and religious liberty. Contributors Include: Dallas Willard William Abraham Al Wolters Scott Hahn Glenn Olsen Robert C. Roberts Byron Johnson Robert Cochran, Jr. David I. Smith John Sullivan Robert Lundin C. Stephen Evans David Lyle Jeffrey

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Meet the Author

Craig Bartholomew (MA, Potchefstroom University, Ph D, Bristol University) is professor of philosophy and biblical studies at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Reading Ecclesiastes: Old Testament Exegesis and Hermeneutical Theory. He has also edited In the Fields of the Lord: A Calvin Served Reader and co-edited Christ and Consumerism: A Critical Analysis of the Spirit of the Age. He is the series editor for the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series.

Dr. Anthony C. Thiselton is professor of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham and Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral. His substantial volume on hermeneutics, The Two Horizons, received international acclaim as a standard resource for this growing subject area.

David Lyle Jeffrey, author of People of the Book: Christian Identity and Literary Culture (1996) and Houses of the Interpreter: Reading Scripture, Reading Culture (2003) is Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

C. Stephen Evans (Ph D Yale University) is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Prior to coming to Baylor in 2001, he taught philosophy at Calvin College, St. Olaf College, and Wheaton College. His published works include fifteen books, among which are The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith and Why Believe?

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Contributors     xv
Abbreviations     xix
Introduction   David Lyle Jeffrey     1
The Bible in Intellectual History     3
Authority and Wisdom     5
Authority and the Book     6
A Flourishing of the Disciplines     9
Ad Fontes Redivivus?     11
Postscript     14
The Bible, the University, and the God Who Hides   Dallas Willard     17
Sources of Knowledge     18
The Bible as a Source of Knowledge     20
A Brief History of 'Knowledge'     26
Knowing vs. Not-Knowing     31
Knowledge of the God who Hides     34
The Task of the Christian Intellectual     37
The Place of Scripture in Christian Theology   William J. Abraham     40
An Important Platitude     40
The Creation of Biblical Studies     41
The Unexpected Disaster     43
The Really Deep Problem     45
Retracing Our Steps     46
Back to the Crisis Again     51
Turning to the Future     52
No Longer Queen: The Theological Disciplines and Their Sisters   Al Wolters     59
Foundational Assumptions in Biblical Scholarship     62
Bringing Scripture to Bear on Christian Scholarship     75
At the School of Truth: The Ecclesial Character of Theology and Exegesis in the Thought of Benedict XVI   Scott Hahn     80
Truth, Freedom, and the Academy     81
The Critique of Academic Biblical Criticism     84
The Ecclesial Locus of Theology and Exegesis     90
Benedict's New Synthesis     99
The Spiritual Sense(s) Today   Glenn Olsen     116
Recovering the Spiritual Sense(s)     116
Rethinking the 'Apostolic' Exegetical Tradition     118
Reconsidering Terminology: 'Allegory' and 'Typology'     124
Reclaiming the 'Historical' Sense     128
Restoring the Analogical Imagination     132
Situationism and the New Testament Psychology of the Heart   Robert C. Roberts     139
Introduction     139
Situationism     140
Traits and Situations     143
The Psychology of the Heart     145
Application of the Psychology of the Heart to Situationism     151
Conclusion     158
The Bible, Positive Law, and the Legal Academy   Robert F. Cochran, Jr.      161
The Bible and Positive Law     162
Jesus and the Positive Law     170
The Legal Academy     178
Biblical Imagery and Educational Imagination: Comenius and the Garden of Delight   David I. Smith     188
Faith, Learning and Metaphor     188
The Garden of Delight as a School     191
The School as a Garden of Delight     198
The Garden of Delight Today     203
Coda: Of Math, Grammar and Reconciliation     209
Reading Habits, Scripture and the University   John Sullivan     216
Scripture and Scholarship     218
Inhospitable Environments     224
Moving Forward in Hope     232
The Case for Empirical Assessment of Biblical Literacy in America   Byron Johnson     240
Introduction     240
Are Christians and Non-Christians Different on Key Social Outcome Indicators?     241
Is America Becoming a Secular and Less Religious Society?     243
Data on Religion in America     246
Is Bible Literacy Low and Declining in America?     247
Conclusions     252
'As if God Were Dead': American Literature and the Question Of Scripture   Roger Lundin     253
'As if God Were Dead': Emerson and Scriptural Authority     255
'The Secret of Our Paternity': Scripture in the School of Melville     262
'An Antique Volume': Dickinson and the Limits of Scripture     268
A Theological Response     274
Biblical Literacy, Academic Freedom, and Christian Liberty   David Lyle Jeffrey     284
Eclipse of Biblical Narrative     285
Egotism and the Common Lot     289
The Bible and Academic Freedom     292
Afterword - The Bible and the Academy: Some Concluding Thoughts and Possible Future Directions   C. Stephen Evans     303
University of Gloucestershire     311
The British and Foreign Bible Society     312
Baylor University     313
Redeemer University College     314
Scripture Index     315
Names Index     317
Subject Index     322
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