Category Archive: Founder Expose

Jun 14

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
David Dickinson

David Dickinson
Methodist Minister, Author

Why is someone with a title like mine (Revd. Dr.) sharing in the founding of an International Society for Heresy Studies? The simple answer is that the reverent academic appraisal of heresy, unbelief and atheism fuels my understanding of my work as a ‘professional Christian.’ The church I belong to and the local congregation I lead must learn how to be a faithful part of the society, culture and context in which they are set; they must have integrity and stand to reason. But there is more to it than that. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/14/on-the-need-for-a-society-for-heresy-studiesdavid-dickinson/

Jun 14

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
James Wood

James Wood
Professor, Harvard University

I think that when Rebecca’s terrific novel was published, she was called something like a “New Secularist” or perhaps a “New New Atheist.” Or perhaps a “New Anti-atheist.” I can’t remember which, and of course the slippage of the terminology is telling: it doesn’t matter. The point is, there is territory to be claimed, and we should claim it: positioning ourselves as writers and scholars open to both religious expression and to anti-religious expression (as several previous comments by Rebecca and Greg and Jim have suggested). Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/14/ex/

Jun 13

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
James Morrow

James Morrow
Novelist

Although I’m no sort of historian or political scientist, let me venture a grand diagnosis of the zeitgeist. We live in a paradoxical age. On the one hand, something called “faith” has of late become an object of unprecedented, almost fetishized, deference. (Consider the fact that in the USA we now have an unequivocal, if unwritten, religious test for the office of President.) At the same time, we’re seeing the ascent of a hot-eyed and unapologetic atheism. Although I don’t view the latter phenomenon with alarm—indeed, I think it’s long overdue—I appreciate those who argue that the New Atheists are tilting with a caricature of religion, as opposed to the actual, lived experience of believers.

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Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/13/ex4/

Jun 13

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
Rebecca N. Goldstein

Rebecca N. Goldstein
Philosopher, Novelist, and Biographer

I suppose the simplest way to explain what attracts me to this society is that the questions Bernard posed in his first letter of inquiry to me all interest me very much, and the way that he posed them—emphasizing the open-ended, non-doctrinal, nothing-to-prove-but-everything-to explore nature of the approach—heartened me. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/13/ex3/

Jun 13

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
Gregory Erickson

Gregory Erickson
Associate Professor, New York University

I have been writing, researching, studying, and teaching for 15 years on the relationship of Christian history and thought to 20th century literature and popular culture. Although I have written on subjects from baseball to television to modernist literature, the common element has been finding unexpected ways that religious belief and practice (Particularly Christianity) can help us to understand their aesthetic and cultural impact. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/13/ex2/

Jun 13

On the Need for a Society for Heresy Studies:
Bernard Schweizer

Bernard Schweizer
Professor, Long Island University (Brooklyn)

There are two key factors that prompted me to conceive of a Society for Heresy Studies. First, I felt that religious subversion in literature simply does not register on the radar screen of many scholars. Most critics working in religion and literature do so to legitimate or celebrate their faith, taking what Gregory Erickson calls the “assumed confessional position.” There is nothing wrong with this…unless it is the only going approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://heresystudies.org/2013/06/13/ex1/