As I begin to engage with philosophical discourse through literature and a Coursera course by professors from the University of Edinburgh, I notice many issues with the training I received in my undergraduate degree in Biblical Literature at Northwest University, an Assemblies of God school. During my time there, the courses required for a degree in Biblical Literature included, of course, classes focused on biblical literature, language, and, because it was an AG school, theology. One thing I was never required to engage with, though, was philosophy as a subject. I find this odd because philosophical discourse during the Enlightenment was pivotal to the rise of biblical criticism, something which is used across confessional schools.
Unfortunately, by not requiring Biblical Literature students to master a certain level of philosophy, the modern understandings of religion, ancient Israel, the early Church, the Bible, and much more become assumed. Lack of philosophical teaching and discussion prevents students from fully engaging not only with biblical literature and traditions therein, but also from engagement with what shaped and still shapes religion, whether lived or official. Plus, what better way to receive great undergraduate research papers then by discussing what “logic” is?