Page 196 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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B O O K S O N B I B L I C A L H I S T O R Y
A N D A R C H E O L O G Y
1 9 6 0 - 1 9 6 6
B
y
H a r r y
M.
O r l i n s k y
T
h e
p a s t
half-dozen years w ill hardly go down in history as
memorable ones for the student of the Bible in general and
of biblical history and archeology in particular. Th is is due onl
in part to the fact that little of revolutionary significance has
been unearthed in and around the Holy Land in the period
1960-1966. T h e major reason for the continued “normalcy” is
that while new data are constantly being brought to light and
distributed among the conventional categories and concepts w ith
which biblical scholars have long been wont to operate, a real
breakthrough can be achieved only when all the data, both the
new and the long familiar, w ill come under the scrutiny of
trained historians and sociologists, when the
w h y
—not merely
the
when
and
h ow—o i
Biblical Israel’s great events w ill be ac-
counted for, when the significant changes in Israel’s checkered
and intriguing career will be explained, not merely described.
Thus in his “Foreword” to the volume on
R e l ig io n
(ed. P.
Ramsey, 1965; see below, toward the end of this survey), in
which I contributed the chapter on “Old Testament Studies,”
Prof. Richard Schlatter, general editor o f the series as a whole,
wrote:
The Ford Humanities Project under the direction of the
Council of the Humanities at Princeton University is look-
ing at American humanistic scholarship of recent decades.
We have commissioned about a dozen volumes by recognized
scholars in each field . . . In the course of our discussions
at Princeton about the volume having to do w ith scholarly
work in the field of religion, we came upon a peculiar dif-
ficulty—peculiar that is to the field of religion scholarship.
A number of American scholars maintain that religion is
not a scholarly discipline like art history or musicology or
classical studies because religion demands of its students
creedal commitments incompatible with free scholarly in-
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