Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What the Devil? Prince of Darkness Is Misunderstood, Says UCLA Professor

After having lived in South Africa and witnessing many things, I can say Satan is real and evil. The interpretive hoops that Kelly uses are substantial and he fails to talk about any sort of demonic forces that Satan is head of. In short this article is very uninspiring.

"There's little or no evidence in the Bible for most of the characteristics and deeds commonly attributed to Satan," insists a UCLA professor with four decades in what he describes as "the devil business."

In "Satan: A Biography" (Cambridge Press), Henry Ansgar Kelly puts forth the most comprehensive case ever made for sympathy for the devil, arguing that the Bible actually provides a kinder, gentler version of the infamous antagonist than typically thought. Read More.

1 comment:

Karol Ballew said...

This is about a book written by a professor of ENGLISH. It is not written by a cultural anthropology professor or even a professor of theology. My husband has taught theology at the college level and has two masters degrees. Yes, there are various ways to interpret theology. However, this book appears to be clueless as to any of the various methodologies.

It does not count as science for me. It appears to be the very thing my husband was told at his interview at the University of Edinburgh's Ph.D. course in practical theology was unacceptable. Having a preconceived notion that one then sets out to prove through research was not acceptable. Having an open mind and not being sure of the actual thesis question for approximately one year while reading everything in the field in which one chose to study was considered mandatory. My husband was a little afraid going into the interview because he had no such preconceived idea. He found in the interview that if he had had such a preconceived notion, he would not have been accepted into the program. He was later unable to enter that program do to the costs involved. However, this thing has stuck with both of us over the years. Having an open mind is a requirement in scholarship and in life.

There is a word for how this book interprets the Bible. It is termed eisegesis. Eisegesis is the technical term for interpreting scripture to mean what you want it to mean. Going into the research for a book with a preconceived idea of what one wants the research to prove definately counts as eisegesis. This book is coming from a person without cultural anthropological or theological training. I would not take an article seriously about heart surgery from someone without the proper medical qualifications. Neither should this book be taken seriously since it is written by someone without the proper qualifications to demytholigize Satan. I am a secondary English teacher. Being able to explicate a poem or other work of literature did not prepare me to do what my husband has done in theology and cultural anthropology (he has a masters degree in each field.)