RE: [asa] Methodological Atheism in Biblical Studies

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Thu Oct 02 2008 - 11:49:17 EDT

I am no theologian but a mere physicist. However, when you analyze
anything, science or theology, you must make same presuppositions. What
kind of study can a person who is an atheist contribute to biblical
studies? Of course, I do believe that even an atheist who is truly
seeking the truth while making sense in his biblical scholarship can be
enlightened and find the truth which is Christ.



From: [] On
Behalf Of David Opderbeck
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 11:35 AM
Subject: [asa] Methodological Atheism in Biblical Studies


There is an interesting conversation on the Biblioblogs site between a
couple of Biblical scholars about the role of faith in Biblical studies
<> . The parallels to
methodological naturalism and the role of faith in scientific studies is
fascinating. Here is a key quote:

Ideally, however, academic believers should tune out what you are
calling "static," that is, their theological beliefs, in their academic
work. (You suggested the metaphor!) That's my advice. They should
practice methodological atheism when pursuing academic Biblical Studies.
They should remove their theological commitments from their mind's
throne and welcome the hegemony of self-critical human autonomy.

 Well, I'm not a Biblical scholar, but I heartily disagree with respect
to Biblical scholarship, my own discipline of law, or any other
discipline. Particularly with respect to Biblical scholarship, if
Christian scholars take the Biblical text as scripture, how can they
consider that "static" when studying what the Biblical text means? And,
doesn't the same reasoning apply to the study of "nature" -- a term that
Christians ultimately must contest in favor of "creation?"

David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Thu Oct 2 11:50:06 2008

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