Quotation of the Day: On the Danger of Being a Biblical Theologian

I’m working on finishing up my RBL review of the Brenner, Lee, and Yee edited Genesis as part of Fortress Press’ Texts @ Contexts series.  In going through the volume again, I came across this line from Carole Fontaine in her essay “Here Comes This Dreamer: Reading Joseph the Slave in Multicultural and Interfaith Contexts”:

Aside from the discord of being part of a trophy “minority”–religious scholars who will speak up–my sense of discontinuity is not simply at discovery that being a biblical theologian is enough to get you many death threats, if you do it properly.  Rather, I read with groups who, unlike my Christian seminarians, really don’t have much stake in the outcome.  Quite frankly, they want me to read “for” them, or “to” them, not read “with them” . . . (133).

Very poignant and powerful words.  I consider myself a biblical theologian (or at least an Old Testament theologian); we shall see if the death threats begin rolling in after my dissertation is published!!  But on a serious note, Fontaine’s words do attest to the gravity of a very important task.


2 thoughts on “Quotation of the Day: On the Danger of Being a Biblical Theologian

  1. Carole Fontaine says:

    Dear John,

    best of luck with your journey into biblical theological scholarship….like Jenny Knust at BUST in NT, you may find out that you DONT want to wind up doing tv, no matter what….


    • John Anderson says:

      Dear Carole,

      What a treat to have you comment! It is always wonderful to have fellow scholars drop by and weigh-in! Your words really grabbed me upon first reading, and I’ve continued to reference and reflect upon them since. They are indeed a powerful statement of what it is that we are trying to do (and what others perceive or want us to do, at times).


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