Thursday, June 21, 2007

Where Have All the Theologians Gone? II

In a prior post, I quoted an article that lamented the lack of young theologians. A reader directed me to Dr. David Shatz's eulogy for Dr. Marvin Fox in Tradition 36:1 (Spring 2002), in which he discusses this issue. He agrees with the above conclusion and suggests the following reasons:

  • A more educated laity requires classes on the basic texts of Judaism (Talmud etc.) that take up more of a rabbi's time (for preparation) and leaves less time for theology/philosophy.

  • Related to the preceding, philosphy does not draw crowds of laypeople because, among other reasons, it has a reputation for being irrelevant to religious life.
  • Theology, rightly or wrongly, carries a suspicion of heresy.
  • Potential writers are concerned about being publicly attacked as a heretic, often due to the attacker's lack of sophistication in this field.
  • Most people are sadly satisfied with the views of religion and God that they learned in elementary school and have no interest in acquiring a deeper understanding.
  • Philosophy is considered hard by many people, partly because people are not taught the subject in high school.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More