Swinging with Mac

No matter how old I get, it’s always fun to play on the swings.

Here I am with MacLaren on a gorgeous spring day in April 2012 in Iowa City.

Afterward, I’ll ask him his opinion on Greek funerary inscriptions. Then I’ll remember he’s only a child with no professional training, thank him for his precious, yet untrained opinion, kiss him on the forehead, tell him I love him, give him a big hug, and then begin a more academically credible process. I’ll start by aggregating existing research into a literary history, and then do some research of my own, then test it in segments on the blogs and message boards, attend some lectures, write a draft of a research paper, present it at ASOR or SBL, get feedback (some positive, some negative) from credible, professionally trained colleagues, re-write the paper, then submit it to a refereed journal, receive back the peer-reviews, further edit the paper incorporating the suggestions from my blind reviewers, re-submit my paper to the journal, celebrate its acceptance, but then prepare rebuttals for the inevitable scholarly critiques and responses that will follow, write another paper supplementing the published article following the same process above, incorporate the now multiple articles and additional research into chapters of a monograph, secure an interested academic publisher, send of drafts to reviewers, receive back the reviews and further edit the volume, then send the completed volume to the contracted publisher for publication. Then, I’ll inquire about a book review session at SBL, ASOR, or some other professional academy annual meeting, making sure to invite both those who agree and disagree with my theory, and then listen to critiques and reviews of my volume. I shall then wait several years to ascertain whether or not my volume proves to have legs and longevity, whether newer research makes my contribution comparatively obsolete, or whether my published conclusions need further reconsideration.

Then again, as the above process is quite difficult, and time consuming, and not all that profitable in the short term, and it likewise provides me no first century apologetic evidence for my modern beliefs, perhaps instead I’ll reconsider and simply accept the judgment of my child regarding the Greek funerary inscriptions.

thought for the day: on the scholarly process

when making a claim, the fact that you are not a professional scholar does not exempt you from the responsibilities of sound reason, good judgment, requirements of evidence, peer-review, and cross-examination that make up the scholarly process.

robert r. cargill

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