Mary Joan Winn Leith of Stonehill College takes on “the Bible Divide”
Reading the letters led Leith to reflect on two particular issues: first, the general ignorance, even among academics, that there is a difference between “Religious Studies” and “Theology”; and second, the responsibility that rigorously trained Biblical scholars have to educate the wider public about the differences between the two fields, especially as the most religious nation in the world, the United States of America, is growing increasingly polarized. Despite the divide, the Bible matters to a lot of people, even if polls suggest they are often ignorant of its contents. They want to know what’s in the Bible and how to read it mindfully.
Whether studying religion “from the outside” in Religious Studies or “from the inside” via Theology, Leith calls on fellow scholars to facilitate a more positive and productive discourse between the academy and the greater public in order to bridge “the Bible Divide.”
For more, see the Biblical Views column “The Bible Divide” by Stonehill College associate professor Mary Joan Winn Leith in the March/April 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.
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