As I've mentioned before, Marcus Borg will be speaking at East Carolina University on Nov 18th at 7pm in Wright Auditorium. I'm excited about seeing him, but a little confused as to why he's coming here.
What I mean is: a lot of our religion professors are billing him as "one of the top New Testament scholars today" and I just think - "Really?" Perhaps I'm just very out of the loop, but Borg doesn't seem like one of the big movers and shakers in today's NT studies world. I've read his books and there wasn't anything in there that I thought was amazingly revolutionary or terribly insightful. And that's fine - I don't expect that every person who teaches the NT and writes books is going to rock the world of NT, nor do I think that would be very desirable. I guess what I'm most surprised about is that we have UNC and Duke right down the road, but we've gone out of our way to get Dr. Borg from halfway across the country. Why not Richard Hays, or Mark Goodacre, Joel Marcus, or Bart Ehrman? They're right down the road from us and I'd consider any of them to be bigger players in the NT world than Dr. Borg.
Last Spring we had William Dever speak and again I was left wondering why they went through all the trouble of getting him to speak here. Granted, he was one of our professor's doktorvater, but during his whole talk he kept showing artifacts from archaeological digs and saying, "Not exactly what the Bible tells us, eh?" and giving a little look to the crowd. It was...odd.