Jack Collins’s new Biblical Studies Blog: “Worthless Mysteries”

Jack Collins - Fedora-wearing biblical scholar
Jack Collins – Fedora-wearing biblical scholar

Fedora-wearing biblical scholar Jack Collins, not to be confused with John J. Collins, has recently started a biblical studies blog. In Worthless Mysteries, Jack explores

the Bible and other ancient literature from a secular—not to mention irreverent—point of view, with an emphasis on Enochic and apocalyptic traditions.

Now, I like the sound of that. And no doubt he will occasionally blog on matters which will be of interest to biblical gigantologists.

Most pleasing about Jack’s outlook, insofar as I can gauge this from half-a-dozen-or-so posts, is his joy in the uselessness of studying ancient religious literature. It’s not only pleasing because of the undue seriousness and gravity with which the Bible and related literature is treated in the Academy, where you often get the impression that academics think that getting the Sitz im Leben of the book of Ezra right or discovering a chiasm in two adjoining verses in Proverbs are justified because the Bible retains some mythical importance in society. But it is his very dismissal of the whole ghastly idea of use itself which makes his delight in the worthless, in the irrelevant, in the useless, so pleasing. As Terry Eagleton sums it up:

The idea of doing something purely for the idea of it has always rattled the grey-bearded guardians of the state. Sheer pointlessness is a deeply subversive affair.
– Terry Eagleton, After Theory (2003), 39

I’m very much looking forward to much useless output from Jack’s worthless blog. And check out his views on academic busking.


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