Document Type

Book Chapter


Religion (CGU)

Publication Date



African American Studies | Biblical Studies | Religion


The basic assumption behind this project is that all humanistic inquiries more or less explicitly involve self-discovery. I have chosen to try to be more rather than less explicit. I have realized for some time now that I am both a problem and a promise for the primary field in which I was academically socialized: biblical (New Testament) studies as defined and practiced by the guilds of biblical scholars in North America. I have provided enough evidence that I can “play the game” that the guilds require in terms of publications, research projects, and general scholarly orientation. And as such things go, and for whatever they are worth, I have been appropriately “rewarded” or “affirmed” by these guilds. There are even times, though not very often, when it seems that I along with some others quite paradoxically represent both the promise and present problem of still very conservative guilds, which have almost no members who are persons of color and thus lack their influence and voice. Nevertheless, through my publications, teaching, and lectures, through the guild politics and guild initiatives that I have either prompted or supported, I have consistently represented part of the outsider’s/newcomer’s critique and the potential undermining of much that these guilds have long represented.

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© 1997 The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

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