Tag: Scholarship (home)

I am unable to see how a man can find the hand of God in secular history unless he has first found an assurance of it in his personal experience.

permalink source: Herbert Butterfield (1900-1979), Christianity and History
tags: History, Scholarship

The critical scholar is not committed, within the area of his research, to accepting the Church's presuppositions about Jesus, but he should not be committed to accepting naturalistic presuppositions either. If he does accept the latter, then the results of his research will in all probability contradict the beliefs of the Church, but this is because he has begged the question from the start. In examining, for instance, the evidence for the virginal conception [of Jesus], if he begins with the presupposition that such an event is impossible he will end with the same conclusion; if he begins with the presupposition that it is possible he may end with the conclusion that the evidence for it is good or that it is bad or that it is inconclusive. This is as far as scholarship can take him. The Christian will accept the virginal conception as part of the Church's faith. In the rare cases where faith appears to be contradicted by scholarship whose conclusions have not been prescribed from the start, [the critical scholar] may be cast down but will not be destroyed. For he will know how temporary and mutable the conclusions of scholarship essentially are, and he will also be conscious that he himself may not have perfectly comprehended the Church's faith.

permalink source: E. L. Mascall, The Secularization of Christianity [1965]
tags: Logic, Scholarship, College

Some fascinating research shows, however, that if you can convince people that smarts come from what people do, rather than what they were born with, performance improves markedly. In a study with Stanford undergraduates, randomly selected students were persuaded to believe that intelligence was malleable rather than fixed. Over two months later, they reported being more engaged in and enjoying the academic process more than students in control conditions. More impressively, students persuaded to believe that smartness was malleable got better grades the next term, especially African-American students. (<em>they footnote the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 22 (2001):1-13, available at http://www.atkinson.yorku.ca/~jsteele/files/04082317412924405.pdf</em>)

permalink source: Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths & Total Nonsense, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, 101
tags: Grades, Scholarship, Stanford

On The Oddities of Scholarship

There is a world--I do not say a world in which all scholars live but one at any rate into which all of them sometimes stray, and which some of them seem permanently to inhabit--which is not the world in which I live. In my world, if The Times and The Telegraph both tell one story in sommewhat different terms, nobody concludes that one of them must have copied the other, nor that the variations in the story have some esoteric significance. But in the world of which I am speaking this would be taken for granted. There, no story is ever derived from facts but always from somebody else's version of the same story. ... In my world, almost every book, except some of those produced by Government departments, is written by one author. In that world almost every book is produced by a committee, and some of them by a whole series of committees. In my world, if I read that Mr. Churchill, in 1935, said that Europe was heading for a disastrous war, I applaud his foresight. In that world, no prophecy, however vaguely worded, is ever made except after the event. In my world we say, 'The first world-war took place in 1914-1918.' In that world they say, 'The world-war narrative took shape in the third decade of the twentieth century.' In my world men and women live for considerable time--seventy, eighty, even a hundred years--and they are equipped with a thing called memory. In that world (it would appear) they come into being, write a book, and forthwith perish, all in a flash, and it is noted of them with astonishment that they 'preserve traces of primitive tradition' about things which happened well within their own adult lifetime."

permalink source: A. H. N. Green-Armytage, John Who Saw (1952), quoted in D. A. Carson's commentary on John, p 50.
tags: Apologetics, Scholarship