Sunday, November 14, 2010
Just how much do we forget?
In writing my paper for the SBL Ideological Criticism section, reflecting on James Crossley's Jesus in an Age of Terror, I have been shocked to find out just how much I have forgotten. In order to get a feel for the blogs discussed by Crossley, I went back and re-read lots of blog entries and I was shocked to see just how much I had forgotten. I am not just talking about blogs that I have paid scant attention to at the time, but also the old favourites, like Jim Davila's Paleojudaica or N. T. Wrong. The biblioblogs are full of wonderful and fascinating posts and heaps of erudition, and yet the vast majority of the posts vanish from our consciousness extraordinarily quickly. I am not quite sure whether I find this encouraging or discouraging. I think it is fantastic that there are so many brilliant posts still out there for us tap into whenever we have the chance, like scholarly diaries of major events in the academic life. But on another level it troubles me that here we are, busily writing away, for our thoughts to vanish in the wind, making scarcely the most fleeting impact, when all this time we could have been spending more time on books and articles that might actually have some kind of legacy.