Oxford prof. examines Bible
By Rebekah Lin
November 05, 2004
The Near Eastern Studies Department's 18th annual Iwry Lecture hosted Oxford professor and Biblical history expert Hugh Williamson on Monday, who spoke on the development of the Hebrew Bible.
The article, which is in the Johns Hopkins News-Letter, summarizes the lecture and is an interesting read. Excerpt:
According to Williamson, an emic study of history takes its meaning from the participant's point of view, and seeks meaning from what is being studied. An etic approach takes its meaning from the causes of an observer, and seeks causes and explanations for what happened.
Williamson expressed fear that if emic and etic approaches are not both recognized and understood, they would become "two sides of that coin in danger of being undervalued."
Currently, studies of Judaism from the time are considered to be too emic, since the Bible is the only source. However, "now the pendulum is swinging too far in the other direction."