Experiments in the Analytical Study of the Bible
Burton Mack as Pioneer
Keywords:analytic study of religion, Burton Mack, J.Z. Smith, scholarship, theory
What it means to study the Bible analytically is current subject to much debate. One scholar who has already spent much of his career wrestling with this very issue in several forms is Burton Mack. In this article I will follow Burton Mack's professional trajectory as he went from a member of the Bultmanian school to an iconoclast in New Testament studies. What I will show is that they key issue that Mack returns to again and again is the need for a theory of Religion in doing Biblical studies. I suggest that those of us committed to the analytical study of the Bible and Religion must learn from Burton Mack that theory is the necessary prerequisite of our work.
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