Scholarship in the Blogosphere

Scholarship in the Blogosphere April 11, 2013

There are several interesting topics that I think I can bring together under this heading.

First, Mark Goodacre has blogged about the strange experience of having a peer-reviewed journal article be written which interacts with a post on his blog! And so he raises the question of whether this is flattering or worrying, since often times we post our ideas on our blogs in a less polished form than we would in the final submitted version of an article. See too Jared Calaway’s post on the topic.

Second, Bob Cargill has posted about some of the discussion which took place or intersected with this blog, which resulted from Jim West taking the stance that, since Bob self-identifies as an agnostic, he can ignore his position on same-sex relations.

Third, there’s an article by Joel Baden in The Bible and Interpretation which addresses a topic I consider very important, namely scholarly consensus. I personally think that students need to begin by understanding whether there is a consensus of experts on a given topic, and if so, what the consensus is, and why the consensus is what it is, or why there isn’t one. They need to be introduced to how scholarship works, and the fact that scholarship is a two-pronged process, in which scholars constantly innovate but also have our new ideas critiqued and assessed by others. If we teach students only to embrace consensus, or to innovate without understanding that not all creative thinking comes up with results that deserve to be widely accepted, we do them a disservice.

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