Philology, Phrenology—What’s the difference?

I first saw an announcement about a movement to retread the worn out tires of philology in biblical studies last spring. It was around April 1 and I honestly wondered at first if it was an April Fool’s joke. Apparently it isn’t. I haven’t stopped shaking my head.

I gave a paper at SBL last year in which I discussed what I thought was the obvious and sensible notion that theory is necessary for analysis. For language, this means some sort of clear and coherent theory of language. The exhumation of philology has problems with theory, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the grave diggers. Apparently theory avoidance is a malady that is hard to get rid of and spreads easily.

Anyway, I spent about 5 minutes with the announcement, which is also posted here (I shall remain hopeful that it’s not a permanent condition), and had a little Swiftian fun by changing a few words. So read further for some Fall fun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Linguistics (theory or typology), Modern Scholarship. Tags: , . Comments Off on Philology, Phrenology—What’s the difference?