I just discovered the lamentable firing of Anthony LeDonne from Lincoln Christian University here. I met Anthony my first year at Illinois Wesleyan University when his co-biblicist at LCU Chris Keith came to IWU to talk about the demise of the criteria of authenticity through research employing memory studies (see a recent discussion of one of Keith's books here). Anthony's firing appears to be due to pressure by donors and others because of his quite good popular book on the Historical Jesus. Ironically, there is to be a conference concerning this research at LCU next fall, though it appears that the organizers are likely to move it in response to LeDonne's unexpected firing (here).
I am quite angry about this. LeDonne's research is good, responsible, and creative. He should be rewarded for his work rather than endure mistreatment. I join with others who offer their hopes that LeDonne will quickly find an institutional home that values his important contributions and gives him the freedom to follow his arguments to their logical conclusions and to follow his creativity. I already own a copy of the book that is at the center of this controversy; I assign portions of it in my classes. I suggest that everyone else, too, buys a copy (link above) (1) to support this important scholarship and (2) to find out what good scholars are saying on the forefront of historical Jesus scholarship. Then pick up his other book.
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