When Scholars Blog

I suck at updating this thing with any regularity, don’t I?

So today’s interesting thing that washed up on the internet is a blog post about a peer-reviewed article critiquing a blog post. The author (of the posts) wonders about the etiquette of responding to a blog post in a scholarly forum, when most blog posts are written with rather different ends in mind. Even the most scholarly blog posts are usually just works in progress, and most blog posts are just casual things written for a particular moment (which in my case, is usually gone before anybody reads them). It’s an odd fact of the world that our ad hoc ramblings are much more accessible for a much longer period of time than most things we write with the intention of being read by a wide audience. I commented on the post I linked to that it would be like a sports writer critiquing a professional athlete’s performance when he was just throwing a ball around with some friends in the park (I said backyard, but I should have said park. The park is, after all, a public place). It’s nonsense.

Anyway, let’s just get a couple things clear about this blog. I am a scholar, if not a very advanced one (ABD, as we say in the trade, which stands for “all but dissertation”). In the not too distant future, I hope to publish scholarly material in peer-reviewed journals and books. However, I do not think of this as a scholarly blog. Anybody is welcome to read it, or even quote it. But even if I do ever post anything about my actual work (and someday I’ll probably at least tell you what my dissertation is about), it will be more along the lines of throwing around a ball in a park than playing a regulation game (or even an exhibition game). So don’t be so daft as to throw this stuff back at me in an article someday! You’ll look like an idiot. Besides, what you get here is more Kyle the campus ministry intern reflecting on his prayer life than Kyle the theology dissertator.

That said, isn’t it nice that we have this park to play in? I’ll try to make it out here with a little more regularity.


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