It’s me again.
YES! IT’S A BLOG POST!
Finally. I’m going to start blogging again! I’m starting a whole new research project and at the moment I’m waiting to hear if I get a year long study leave starting in July 2015 and I’m trying to write a sensible grant proposal for fund to travel in aid of the project.
It is a MAJOR change in direction for me but I’m pretty excited about it. I don’t think I’m really retiring entirely from Hebrew Bible Studies but I am putting it on the back burner for a while, or at least shifting from historically and literary oriented studies to the modern use of the Bible.
And what is the project? It doesn’t have a formal name but the working title is:
MYTHMAKING IN THE CREATIONIST CONTROVERSY
The primary focal point of the project is an analysis of modern Christian creationism and some facets of anti-creationism (both secular and religious) as competing processes of mythmaking concerning history, human destiny, foundations of a meaningful life, and identity and power politics.
I’m taking mythology as the narrative expressions of ideology and social and personal identity but instead of concentrating on the stories per se I’m interested in the processes of myth making: the retelling and interpreting old narrative plots and tropes, and generating new narratives. Mythology can be expressed in narrative or poetic form, or alluded to in other kinds of verbal or written communication, or represented in image and sculpture, performing art, or architecture. Creationists do not merely defend biblical stories of creation as valid histories of the universe and life, but actively select, modify, and supplement biblical narratives with additional stories that together comprise a new mythology that creates and validates modern creationist identity group identity, even to the point of claiming that the doctrine of biblical creationism is inseparable from true Christianity. Henry Morris (2000), who did much to shape modern creationism, considered that all ancient religion to have espoused evolutionary thought, against which stood the “truth” of the biblical six-day creation . Creationist myth is not simply the biblical stories, but their shifting adaptations in sermons, casual retellings, children’s stories, or visual displays, often in concert with other biblical and extra-biblical myths. These other myths concern theological” topics such as salvation and eschatology, provide paradigms of prophetic self-understanding and martyrdom, as well as socio-political discourses that span the “religious” vs. “secular” divide. These include Western notions of human progress vs. moral decline, individuality, and the religious foundations of modern states and the persistent legacy of the Bible as a foundational Western document.