Friday, June 04, 2004

Who Is Tom Harpur, and Why Should We Care?

It's time to pick on the liberals.

Tom Harpur, as it turns out, is a religion reporter in Canada (and sometime Anglican priest; I don't know whether he is now or not) who has apostacized into a religiosity unbounded by any actual reality. This is a guy who regards the gospels, from end to end, as fiction. Nevertheless, he holds that there is some "truth" in there somewhere.

Scholarly apparatus makes for a book that looks more legitimate, especially for a Rhodes scholar who has been taught to do it right. (There's a lot of woo-woo "scholarship" out there which betrays itself by earnestly doing it wrong.) It is also perversely comforting to those outside the scholarly compound, who then get to pat themselves on the back for avoiding the "folly to the Greeks". Underneath all the apparatus, however, these texts solve "problems" that have a totally different character from how they are presented. The issue that they solve is this: the author becomes an unbeliever in the exegesis he knew, and invests in the ridicule that is heaped upon that exegesis. So how does he keep his religion? Well, the solution, if you are into the academic world, is to bury the whole thing in a different exegesis. The unasked question, then, is "Why do you no longer believe?"

More to come...

1 comment:

C. Wingate said...

I have since learned that Harpur is no longer a priest. Good thing, in my opinion.