Tuesday, March 09, 2004


I wouldn't ordinarily share my shame with the world, but I was especially tickled by this one. A few months ago, I sent off a very old essay of mine to the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, in hopes that it might find a publishing home. Alas, it was not meant to be. Not even close!

This essay strikes me as exhibiting the worse [sic] sort of postmodern theological jargon. Way too many sentences and paragraphs are just indecipherable, with the apparent intention to make it sound profound. There are some interesting nuggets about Las Vegas, but these are just facts that have little do with the essay's aim. The author started with an interesting idea in terms of connecting the wager of Pascal and the wager of a gambler in Las Vegas, but the actual exposition ends up making both sides of the equation less clear, rather than more. I wouldn't encourage its revision . . . though perhaps its translation into English! [my emphasis]

Hee. I like that last line.

But, c'mon! Postmodern!! Ugh! Spat! Glurghghg! Hardly. I just re-read the paper in question, and I honestly do not get the criticism about its indeciperability. It's freakin' philosophical theology! The problem in the past, in my estimation, is that this stuff was entirely too clear, too pedantic . . . too damn interpretively fascist! The problem in the present, so it seems, is that I don't lay down the interpretive grid for my papers, which will in turn function as their yellow brick road of final determinate meaning. I have definite reasons for doing this; namely, this ain't science. Then again, the problem could be as simple as: I no rite clearsome.

I've always thought this might prove to be my academic undoing; or at least I'd get roughed up enough prior to the submission of my thesis that I'd learn from my mistakes and make the necessary changes. We shall see.