Shocking! An Interested Student
Today something unusual happened. I was leaving class and one of my students seemed happy to see me because he/she wanted to talk about big picture items such as what all this historical criticism stuff related to the Bible means. We had previously discussed textual criticism in class, and talked about how the reality was way more complicated than a belief in the inerrancy of the text. For the reading for the next class, it was from Baruch Halpern's David's Secret Demons. In the text Halpern talks about how much of the sources of 1 and Samuel are spin doctors, about how David might not have killed Goliath, about how much about David's enemies dying and David being innocent seemed "too good to be true." Anyway, it was very refreshing to talk to an interested student, though most of the questions he/she was asking were more appropriate for her priest or minister or rabbi or imam. In any event, I remarked that us having this conversation about big picture topics while strolling across campus on a brisk winter day was so cliche. The student mistakenly thought that meant I thought they were stupid or being inappropriate, while I didn't mean that. Having meaningful discussions with students outside of class happens far too infrequently in my experience at Xavier. I think much of this is because students have to take two theology classes, and when you get right down to it, they could care less about the material. So that was nice for a change.