Michael Bird and Craig Keener have posted a helpful piece entitled "Jack of All Trades and Master of None: The Case for 'Generalist' Scholars in Biblical Scholarship" on this month's SBL Forum. Bird and Keener argue that there are five advantages to being a generalist. These advantages can be summarized as follows:
1. Generalists are required in order to disseminate the work of specialists to a wider audience.
2. The work of generalists is often more conducive to interdisciplinary research.
3. The Hebrew Bible and especially New Testament each constitute a relatively small body of writings compared to many other areas of discourse (Renaissance literature, postmodern French philosophy, etc.).
4. The generalist may have an advantage over the specialist in the classroom.
5. Historically many of the scholars of ancient or modern times with the greatest impact have been generalists (e.g., Jerome, Origen, Calvin, F. C. Baur, J. B. Lightfoot, B. F. Westcott, H. J. Holtzmann, Adolf von Harnack, and Adolf Schlatter, Martin Hengel, E. P. Sanders N. T. Wright, James Dunn, and Jacob Neusner, F. F. Bruce and Matthew Black)
Thanks for this.
Your welcome. Thanks for stopping by.
Post a Comment