Just In–Sad News for the Academic Study of Religions
by James Tabor
I am reposting a link here to Thomas Verenna’s Blog, just up this morning, regarding the late breaking news of the decision of the Supreme Court of Germany regarding the case of Professor Gerd Luedemann, historian, theologian, and New Testament scholar. I have known professor Luedemann for many years and most recently have enjoyed contact with him at the initial gatherings of The Jesus Project at UC Davis (2007) and in Amherst, NY (2008). This ruling says a lot about the long arms and tight hands of Church Influence even in “secular” Europe, not only in cases such as Hans Kueng, on the Roman Catholic side of things, but now equally so in the Protestant arena.
As one non-Catholic among half a dozen others who left the University of Notre Dame back in the mid-1980s under the pressure of one of Father Hesburg’s “recatholicising” moves in the Dept. of Theology back in those dark ages, as well as having scheduled lectures on my book, The Jesus Dynasty, forbidden in the spring of 2006 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, because I had dared to suggest that Jesus had a human father, not likely Joseph, I can identify in just a tiny way with Prof. Luedemann.
Surely the structures of European theological education are of great concern to those of us on the other side of the Great Deep, in that we who work in Biblical Studies are inextricably linked in both methods and research agendas to our European colleagues.
Please help spread the world on this significant development so its issues and consequences can be more widely considered and discussed in our 21st century “post-Enlightenment” global culture.