(Regarding the work and popular reviews of Robert Alter)
Carolyn Sharp: I did, once, actually receive a paper from a student who 'exegeted' what her grandmother had said about the relevant passage. It's not a prudent approach! Unless your grandmother is, you know, Gerhard von Rad. And even then, this assignment is about your interpretation of the passage, so Grandma von Rad would still need to be peripheral to your argument.
Carolyn Sharp: Time to get a mocha and calm down about the dismissively reductionist approach to the Bible that we see so often in popular culture. And just in case you'd be tempted to say I never taught you anything worthwhile: the best mocha lattes in New Haven are at Koffee on Audubon Street. There. That's something you can cling to when all the world seems to be awash in postmodern relativism.
Overheard at: Old Testament
This overheard is a few years old, submitted by an '04 alum:
Episcopal convert: Some of my buddies and I actually searched the phone book trying to find a sperm bank where we could donate in order to get cash to buy some beer.
Episcopal friend: When was that?
Episcopal convert: When I was at Oral Roberts.
Overheard: Commuter Lounge
Bruce Gordon: I'm sorry... you'll see I've taken this [map] from a cruise website, but the cities haven't changed.
Overheard: History of Western Christianity
Carolyn Sharp: I'm quite sure that puffins and polar bears were not part of Jeremiah's people, but you could decide that polar bears are part of your people (as a prophetic strategy of ecological solidarity).
Overheard: Scripture and Social Ethics
Dale Peterson: "It wasn't scandalous; he was just naked."
Overheard: YDS bookstore
M.Div Student (in a bad Scottish Accent): "In the Bible they said Jesus turned water into Wine, which is just Hebrew for Scotch."
Overheard: Berkeley Dinner
Guest preacher: Where did Esther get the gumption? Can I say, where did she get
Voice from congregation: No!
Guest preacher: Well, I can't think of any other way to say it.
Overheard in Marquand worship
These make me nostalgic for seminary days. Funny how studying and praying closely with people for years at a time brings out the innuendo.