My dear friend Brant Pitre recently posted a wonderful blog post that deals with Loisy and the controversy surrounding the so-called “Jesus of faith” vs. the so-called “Jesus of history,” with the attendant replacing of that Jesus of faith with the Jesus of history. His post can be found here on the Historical Jesus Research Blog.
In addition to the book on Loisy that I had been working on over the summer, I’ve been working intensely since the end of August helping out on a broader project dealing with the roots of modern biblical criticism, stretching back from the 14th century into the
early 20th century. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I’ve helped draft sections on the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, and am almost done with the 17th century, although the 16th century sections still need a lot of cleaning up. The research has been gripping. It’s been very interesting to me to see the varied political connections. So far I would say that I think Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker’s many insights in their Politicizing the Bible are dead on target. It’s been amazing going through the connections between Marsilius of Padua and William of Ockham, as they resided with Ludwig of Bavaria, all three in conflict with Pope John XXII—-and then to see how Marsilius’ and Ockham’s thoughts get carried through into later generations. I’m still processing some of the material on Luther and in Reformation England, even as I’m reading (and re-reading) material in the 17th century works of Hobbes, Spinoza, and Simon–which I know better. I know I haven’t done a very good job updating this blog as I progress on my sabbatical, but I’ll try to do a better job. I’m looking forward to getting into the 18th century, probably in a few weeks after we complete better drafts of the chapters I’ve already worked on. So stay tuned.