Maddy Ward on “What makes a good Biblical Scholar or Theologian?”

Theology is a bit like a spider’s web, in the sense that cutting a single strand of a theological framework can drastically alter the shape of the whole.

A good theologian understands the web from many angles. They can identify the fundamental tenets of an intricate system. They can foresee the potential effects of disregarding those tenets in advance. They can perceive when an apparently obscure issue is being used as a proxy for the underlying disagreement – and when it is not actually an obscure issue at all. They can spot patterns, echoes, allusions, and possibilities.

This obviously requires clarity of thought – but it also demands empathy and a wide-ranging understanding of context, since personal motivations are so often mingled with doctrinal ones.


Maddy Ward is the Henry J. Cadbury Scholar at Pendle Hill, Philadelphia, a Quaker Study, Retreat and Conference Center. 

Advertisements

One thought on “Maddy Ward on “What makes a good Biblical Scholar or Theologian?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.