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Exodus

October 28, 2009

According to the student paper I just read, the Exodus story is about the excellence of Christ.

I shit you not.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Beelzebub permalink
    October 28, 2009 10:50 pm

    All of the Bible points to the excellence of Christ.

  2. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    October 29, 2009 7:52 am

    My friend, you should read this: http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/mad357927.shtml

  3. Beelzebub permalink
    October 29, 2009 8:44 am

    I probably don’t need to read that. I was being facetious.

  4. Beelzebub permalink
    October 29, 2009 8:46 am

    But yes, I’ve always found it interesting how Christians tend to interpret the former half of the Bible the way they do, often simply because of the existence of the latter half.

  5. October 29, 2009 9:51 am

    I don’t see how the linked article dismisses the religious relevance of Christological interpretations of Hebrew Scripture. Presumably “Exodus as a foreshadowing of the excellence of Christ” is a relevant interpretation for the scholar of Scripture, its reception, and its interpretation by various religious groups. I take it that your student’s paper was inappropriate because it actually endorsed these interpretations within a context where such endorsement was not the purpose of examination of the text. But I take it that christological readings of scripture aren’t just something to be made fun of: they are an interesting and influential aspect of religious thought and life. Presumably a religion will interpret its sacred texts in light of what it holds sacred… right? Otherwise I don’t see why they would bother with the texts to begin with.

    I’m also a bit confused about how your broadcasting of this student’s thesis is anything but crass and unprofessional, even under a pseudonym. But that’s another matter.

  6. October 29, 2009 11:11 am

    I agree with Evan.

  7. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    October 29, 2009 1:29 pm

    Sorry Beelzebub; I wasn’t sure. I do get comments from people with that sort of perspective sometimes …

  8. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    October 29, 2009 1:32 pm

    You agree with Evan about what exactly?

  9. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    October 29, 2009 1:37 pm

    Evan: first, the student didn’t say anything about foreshadowing Christ—he just said it was about the excellence of Christ. But it gets worse: the assignment was just to summarize the contents of the Exodus story. I was sort of amazed to see that there was no mention of Moses in his summary.

    Second, I reserve the right to make fun of whatever I want—at least outside the classroom—even if it is related to what some group holds to be sacred. Reverence is a religious virtue, not a scholarly one.

    Last, I’m definitely open-minded about rethinking my policy on talking about students and student papers. Fire away.

  10. October 30, 2009 10:57 am

    I’m surprised no one picked up on the obvious Bill & Ted allusions here. I think we’re missing the woods from the trees here, people.

  11. October 30, 2009 11:24 am

    “Second, I reserve the right to make fun of whatever I want—at least outside the classroom—even if it is related to what some group holds to be sacred. Reverence is a religious virtue, not a scholarly one.”

    Why do non-religious scholars of religion so often have to make this into an issue of “reverence” and “respect”? This is half of what makes Daniel Dennett’s public talks on religion so damn boring.

    No one’s asking you to observe a moment of silence whenever a religious comment is made. I just think that blogging about a religiously-charged student paper and ending with “I shit you not” is an odd posture for a scholar of religion to take. It would be like a biologist snickering when she runs across mating animals… or a psychologist blogging about how annoying a schizophrenic patient is.

    Reverence may be a religious virtue, but surely objectivity and reserve are scientific virtues. And surely martyr complexes only impede one’s reception of genuine criticism.

  12. October 30, 2009 5:16 pm

    Evan I disagree with your assumption that Missive’s post was somehow crass and unprofessional. He/she hasn’t violated any laws or codes pertaining to disclosing student information, but what he/she did do was break what you and some others consider to be a social norm. In my experience with scholars who teach, venting about blatant errors in students’ work is one of the only ways they can keep their sanity.

  13. October 31, 2009 8:08 am

    I agree with the foreshadow thing.

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