Saturday, July 11, 2009

Caught up on JECS

Okay, I've finally caught up on reading the Journal of Early Christian Studies issues I've received.  Frankly I'm not really enjoying the series that much.  Rather than dealing with the orthodox literature of the early Christian period, the journals tend to be very interested in the various purveyors of heresy.  While a study of the writings of those who are not within the mainstream of Christian belief and practice does have its merits, it seems these publications almost always take an approach to the literature which indicates it was valid, insightful, and presented good doctrinal positions to counter the prevailing, often bigoted and oppressive views of orthodoxy.  Really kind of disappointing.  I'm interested in genuine early Christian literature.  What about the real patristic authors? 

Alas, it seems that the academics who write articles for this journal want or need to launch out in those same old boring new and bold trajectories which everyone's been using for the past forty years.  One does have to wonder how long "cutting edge" can stay cutting edge when it all goes down the same pathway.  But that seems to be the pattern in classics scholarship, as it may be as well in the realm of early Christian studies.

I'll write a few summaries of some articles but then gladly put those issues of the journal away.

Dave Spotts
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