- Generalists are required in order to disseminate the work of specialists to a wider audience. . .
- The work of generalists is often more conducive to interdisciplinary research. . . .
- Hebrew Bible and especially New Testament each constitute a relatively small body of writings compared to many other areas of discourse (Renaissance literature, postmodern French philosophy, etc.). . . .
- The generalist may have an advantage over the specialist in the classroom. . . .
- Historically many of the scholars of ancient or modern times with the greatest impact have been generalists. . . . .
Here's the conclusion:
If the discipline of biblical studies is to avoid endemic fragmentation and overspecialization, where each scholar cares only for his or her own “postage-stamp-sized bailiwick” (to use Markus Bockmuehl’s colorful term), then some degree of generalization is required The extent to which all or some need to expand their interests and horizons is of course relative to situations, institutions, tastes, and interests, but hopefully we can avoid the dichotomy whereby narrow experts and overgeneralists, each mistrusting the other, are the only courses open. Biblical academia and those for whom we teach and write will always be in need of both specialists and generalists.I offer my Amen! Read the whole thing.