Those Swell-Headed American Academics

In this midst of his critique of current Roman Catholic academic “theology”, Adam deVille makes the following observation:

As someone trained in the Anglo-Canadian academic system, I note certain curiosities about Americans and academics. Americans turn degrees and “credentials” into an absurd fetish and repository for all kinds of misplaced faith. Holders of these degrees are magically assumed to have all sorts of insights and skills which, in practice, they often do not. And yet they brandish these credentials like buckler and shield to ward off an impudent Douthat, who temerariously dared to question their arguments. Their de haut en bas treatment of him reveals nothing more than their own insecurity.

That “absurd fetish” extends beyond theology; it permeates our entire élite view of society, buttressing their wish to turn this country into a mandarinate where they are the mandarins.

And, closer to topic, I hate to say it, but “Protestant theology” is, if anything, in worse shape than its Catholic and Orthodox counterpart.

One Reply to “Those Swell-Headed American Academics”

  1. Cannot agree more. This extends to the ‘language’ experts who spend all their time looking for ever more obscure renderings of the Greek and Hebrew. There are homographs (words which are spelt the same but have different meanings) throughout the New Testament Greek. You have to understand the meaning by the context – but given the Greek used in the NT gradually changed, certainly until the 4th Century, no-one, not even academics educated beyond their intelligence, can really know how the language was used.
    Arguments about the precise meaning of a particular word where it matters little are just a waste of time and effort. Does it advance the Gospel? No. Does it mean the world looks on and shakes it’s head in amusement? Yes.
    Sometimes I am tempted to despair.

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