Recently N.T. Wright was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sewanee University of the South. It is Wright’s 15th honorary doctorate as well. However, not everyone at Sewanee was terribly pleased about granting Wright this honour.
Paul Holloway has written what can only be called a nasty and intemperate rant as to why Wright should not have been awarded such an honor. He says things about Wright like:
“he is little more than a book-a-year apologist.” Yes, that Paul and the Faithfulness of God volume really was a rushed and low-brow piece of work.
“I know of no critical scholar in the field who trusts his work.” Yes, all those blurbs for his books by scholars at Oxford, Cambridge, Duke, and Tubingen must have been forged. Likewise his fourteen other honorary doctorates must have been purchased on some kind of fees for honorary degrees scheme. And no doubt all of those packed sessions that Wright speaks at at SBL were probably nothing more than rent-a-crowds hired by the publishers.
“[Wright is an] outspoken opponent of LGBT rights and a vociferous critic of the Episcopal Church for its progressive stance.” Yes, sadly, Wright did fail to do obeisance to TEC and had the gall to perpetuate that ever so distasteful apostolic and catholic faith.Oh, and even better, Holloway calls St. Andrews University a “under-funded Scottish university anxious to attract young full-fee-paying American Evangelical men questing for old-world cultural capital.” Hmm … I don’t know what to say to that other than suggest that Holloway’s institution would be lucky if it was half as successful as St. Mary’s college at St. Andrews.
To be honest, as an SNTS member, I was a little embarrassed that one SNTS member (Paul Holloway) would speak that way about another SNTS member (N.T. Wright). Good grief, whatever happened to collegiality! It boggles my mind how folks like this who supposedly champion the values of diversity and tolerance can utter such ad hominem drivel. To be honest, Holloway is probably preaching to a choir of supporters in his own circle, but I think it was very embarrassing for the Sewanee faculty that one of its members would reduce themselves to such non-sense that is so easily refuted and so evidently driven by ideology rather than by substance.
Thankfully Nijay Gupta also has a good response to Paul Holloway too.