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Posts Tagged ‘objectivity’

Ask Me if I Care

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

“The Apocalyptic Vision” by Martha Himmelfarb (The Oxford Study Bible, pages 181-198): I don’t know why I  should believe any of it. Or care.

See, it’s this kind of thing: “Also, the falling axe, flowing blood, and festive eating would have produced that mixture of terror and ecstasy humans associate with experiences of the holy” (“Relationship to God” by Byron Shafer, The Oxford Study Bible, page 192).

So detached, it’s holier than thou. Do you believe this stuff or not; and if not, why are you writing about it?

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Sterile Gloves

July 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I don’t like it when people write about the gods and myths of this or that time and place with a tone of superiority, intellectual distance and essential disbelief. Why should I trust anything they have to say? They’re trying to hand me something while refusing to touch it. I don’t need their sterile gloves.

Writing Naturally

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

In the Oxford articles, they keep stressing that such and such a document is not strictly historical, but carries an ideological purpose as well. Why would they expect the ancients to observe modern rules of historical writing? Why would they assume that people of yore shared our irrational obsession with objectivity? They were telling the story; that’s all. They were reporting and interpreting in the same narrative, just as you and I do all the time. Even today, the average person has to be broken of this tendency if ever they get into writing history by today’s standards. The ancients didn’t share those regulations. They weren’t trying to divorce what they thought from what they saw. They, unlike we, were writing naturally.