Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is God trying to teach me something?

Option 3 it is.

Then this... I submitted an article for publication on the topic of the church's responsibility towards refugees and asylum seekers. Yesterday I received two reviews. The first was a tremendously affirming and helpful critique of my article. The second was a scathing massacre of my work. Here is an excerpt of the critic's comments:

A 12 page anecdotal hypothesis largely undocumented and unproven. The fact that I might agree with some of the sentiment within the article does not lesson the fact that it consists of sweeping generalizations which may or may not be true. It reads rather like a sermon delivered by a preacher who is passionate about his subject, but has not taken the time to research his sweeping claims. As a result the conclusions carry no weight. This kind of discourse may be acceptable in some pulpits but is not suitable for a theological journal.The use of footnotes is not helpful, they are largely explanations.

Funny thing is that I read this paper at the Theological Society of South Africa conference last year and it was received very well. Ag well, I'll try to make it more empirical. Thing is, I don't believe that everything should be discussed in an empirical fashion. Of course I can discuss the issue in a very clinical and scientific manner, with graphs and numbers and statistics. But such an article will get lost. I don't want people to read it, say "oh, that was interesting" and then move on. I hope that even my journal articles will generate some stirring of the spirit.

Criticism I can take, malicious massacres of hard work I do not appreciate.

1 comment:

Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

A critique says as much about the critic as about the article. You need to ask who is the critic and if the criticism is valid. Sometimes the critic has personal stuff that becomes evident in the critique.