Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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aussieguy55
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Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by aussieguy55 »

On Dans blog there is a discussion about Hugh Nibley's work on early church history and the apostasy.
It is like MS vs Interpreter maybe. Read the letter exchange. Informative.
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4919396047

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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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With luminaries like the anonymous coward posting as “Jack” sharing such earth shattering gems such as:

“Looking at one detail will not be convincing. But taken all together 100 details can be very convincing--and that's what's happening with the mapping of Book of Mormon Lands in Southern Mexico. It fits--almost too well. Things are precisely where they need to be--for the most part.”

one can’t help but wonder why the ‘pastiche’ or ‘mosaic’ theory hasn’t been embraced. No ONE thing is true about the Book of Mormon, but when you step back from the wall art, relax your eyes, and the image sort of forms out of chaos, well, that’s where the magic really happens.

- Doc

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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Dr. Midgley, for reasons I will not go into, seems to have gone silent, which pleases me greatly.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Philo Sofee »

Tom wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:44 pm
Dr. Midgley, for reasons I will not go into, seems to have gone silent, which pleases me greatly.
He doesn't want his hero, Hugh W. Nibley, to be trashed by real historians...... with real Ph.d's.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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Tom wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:44 pm
Dr. Midgley, for reasons I will not go into, seems to have gone silent, which pleases me greatly.
:lol:

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by aussieguy55 »

This is the paper that Migley is so upset with Taylor G Petrey
https://www.academia.edu/19421782/Sidin ... bley_Today

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

Petrey pointed out that Midgley did the same thing about a year ago. (Link to his public disqus comments: @tpetrey, https://disqus.com/by/tpetrey/ )

It’s fascinating to read the two sets of exchanges, and see Midgley’s identical and second misrepresentation of him this year. What an ugly light this shines on Midgley’s comments. It puts his similar rantings into a very clear perspective. Petrey conveys himself, unlike Midgley and kiwi, in a very professional and appropriate manner. His posts make for a refreshing change on Peterson’s blog, although he shouldn’t have to, twice in one year, deal with such misrepresentation.

Midgley really has no credibility, and unfortunately for his fellow mopologists, their humoring of his obviously incorrect viewpoints that are inseparable from his frequent and vicious personal attacks lowers their credibility as well.
Last edited by Lemmie on Wed May 20, 2020 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

Tom wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 5:44 pm
Dr. Midgley, for reasons I will not go into, seems to have gone silent, which pleases me greatly.
He has finally given his own reasons:

Louis Midgley tpetrey 17 hours ago

<explanation with not a lot of credibility SNIPPED >

....Some of the language in my bibliographic essay is the result, even though I had an expert friendly copy editor, of facing a hostile editor. I did the best I could....

I am no longer going to joust with Dr. Petrey over what are clearly petty things.

Edit: Dr. Petrey should not take my disinterest in continuing to joust with him as a surrender to his own self-serving comments below.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... 4920104694
My Edit: A most ungracious surrender, but at least it is a surrender.
Last edited by Lemmie on Wed May 20, 2020 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Tom »

Amen. I do hope that the entire exchange will be added to the Louis C. Midgley collection in the Cassius University library.

Update: Dr. Midgley has now broken his silence over at Sic et Non by adding another response to Dr. Petrey. It was to be expected.
tpetrey: My brief comments about your brief essay in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity were my attempt to situate you in your own world, where there are fancy new "methodologies" being used, and also very different questions being asked, and answers sought. And some now are "focused on sexular orientation and gender" and other very closely related matters. I don't see how mentioning this is a "false witness."

So I have changed my mind about responding to you again after reading your "Edit" above. I urge anyone who thinks that my very, very brief comment on your essay in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity might be a "false witness" to have a look at the following, where they should expand the items to see the details: https://kzoo.academia.edu/T..., and/or glance through https://kzoo.academia.edu/T....

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

The discussion continues, with others noting Midgley’s bombastic misrepresentations:
Yakov ben Tov Louis Midgley • an hour ago

[midgley:]”My brief comments...were my attempt to situate you in your own world, where there are fancy new "methodologies" being used, and also very different questions being asked, and answers sought. And some now are "focused on sexular orientation and gender" and other very closely related matters."

Petrey also preemptively responded to this line of reasoning in the original essay itself. On pages 68–69 he said,

"Social scientific studies, ideological criticism, religious studies, and new historiographical approaches all impacted how scholars researched and wrote about early Christianity. These new methods arose not simply as fashionable trends deviating from some previously stable core of scholarship, but rather as an abandonment of the kinds of normative, apologetic questions that had informed an earlier generation of scholars. Newer generations not only felt constrained by the questions of purity and parallels the previous century had provided, but they also felt as if those questions had largely proved to be dead ends."


—−
Louis Midgley Yakov ben Tov • 19 minutes ago

Yakov ben Tov: This is exactly the language I had in mind in describing Taylor's own fashionable in some circles move from what he describes as "an abandonment of the kinds of normative, apologetic questions that informed an earlier generation of scholars." And it is certain that Taylor has situated himself in a fashionable new world where concern about gender and sexual orientation has replaced the world in which Hugh Nibley published. All I did was agree with Taylor and hence point out the obvious. So he has become a passionate apologist for a different way of understanding of the past. I am at a loss to see why this annoys him.


—-
Yakov ben Tov Louis Midgley • 12 minutes ago

"All I did was agree with Taylor and hence point out the obvious."

No, you didn't agree with Petrey and nor did you point out the obvious. Petrey was preemptively responding to exactly the kind of mischaracterization that you articulated after his essay was published. He isn't an apologist, he's a scholar. Those are two completely separate and distinct vocations, which he alluded to in his essay. Scholars of early Christian history realized decades ago that approaching their study through theological lenses–and therefore defending those theological presuppositions–was doing more damage to the field than by approaching their study through a series of critical lenses. Again, Petrey already explained all of that in his essay, which is why I agree with both Petrey and you that everyone should just read what he wrote. That's what I did.

http://disq.us/p/29dw30w

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Tom »

YbT’s comment about scholars vs. apologists will deeply annoy Dr. Midgley (“[E]very intellectual endeavor is necessarily a defense of some position by those who advance their position. Every author, as well as everyone with an interpretation or explanation, whether they recognize the fact or not, is thus an apologist.” Midgley, “Situating Nibley on Early Christianity,” Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 7 (2015): 73 n. 3) and possibly draw Dr. P. into the debate.
Last edited by Tom on Wed May 20, 2020 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

Tom wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:48 am
Amen. I do hope that the entire exchange will be added to the Louis C. Midgley collection in the Cassius University library.

Update: Dr. Midgley has now broken his silence over at Sic et Non by adding another response to Dr. Petrey. It was to be expected.
tpetrey: My brief comments about your brief essay in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity were my attempt to situate you in your own world, where there are fancy new "methodologies" being used, and also very different questions being asked, and answers sought. And some now are "focused on sexular orientation and gender" and other very closely related matters. I don't see how mentioning this is a "false witness."

So I have changed my mind about responding to you again after reading your "Edit" above. I urge anyone who thinks that my very, very brief comment on your essay in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity might be a "false witness" to have a look at the following, where they should expand the items to see the details: https://kzoo.academia.edu/T..., and/or glance through https://kzoo.academia.edu/T....
Petrey responds eloquently:
tpetrey Louis Midgley • 2 hours ago • edited

Louis, you claimed that in an essay on Hugh Nibley I said "the current ways of looking at the early Church, which now focus on questions of sexual orientation and gender (66-70). I am not making this up." You did not say "some" or admit that these are only a few of the new approaches I mention (even though you don't seem to know what "sexual orientation" means and how early Christian scholars approach this issue). Such qualifications would indeed be a more accurate, if still selective and incomplete, description of what I said. If you would formally concede that your new version of this description corrects your previous one, we can move on.

Yet, you have not produced any evidence that I said anything like what you initially described at all in my brief essay (among various other documented misrepresentations you made subsequently), a claim that you believed so outlandish to you readers that you had to insist that you weren't making it up.

But you were, as anyone who has read my brief note can quite easily see and as I have patiently explained. But you are now pointing to my other publications (none of which say what you have attributed to me) as evidence of a claim that I did not make in the essay that you misrepresented? This is getting absurd.


http://disq.us/p/29dtl52
[bolding added]

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

Tom wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:52 am
YbT’s comment about scholars vs. apologists will deeply annoy Dr. Midgley and possibly draw Dr. P. into the debate.
You are quite prescient!

DanielPeterson Yakov ben Tov 10 minutes ago

YbT: "He isn't an apologist, he's a scholar. Those are two completely separate and distinct vocations."

That's false. Even incoherent.
Lol.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

“Louis Midgley

Louis Midgley > tpetrey an hour ago

What I was referencing was your own teaching and publishing career. This has been absurd from the beginning.”

What raging little ____. I’m going to take a crap on his headstone.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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In a recent podcast Gina Colvin addresses this scholar vs apologist differential and really hits home the problem that Mopologists and by extension the church leadership that uses their work.
....context is absolutely critical when doing church history. Unbundling theology from history offers these disciplines the integrity they both need and deserve
I have had multiple current BYU professors share with me their rather low opinion of the FARMS/FAIR. One called specifically Peterson and Midgely “American Taliban.” In another meeting with a GA they shared with me that many people they had talked to concerning church history problems went out of their way to address the intellectual dishonesty of LDS apologetics.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Tom »

Lemmie wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 11:00 am
Tom wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:52 am
YbT’s comment about scholars vs. apologists will deeply annoy Dr. Midgley and possibly draw Dr. P. into the debate.
You are quite prescient!

DanielPeterson Yakov ben Tov 10 minutes ago

YbT: "He isn't an apologist, he's a scholar. Those are two completely separate and distinct vocations."

That's false. Even incoherent.
Lol.
The professor loves to argue, and he’ll look for any opening to get a point in. It’s surprising, though, that he hasn’t come to Dr. M.’s defense on the substance. Perhaps he’s too busy working on the film and his forthcoming books.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Symmachus »

If anyone wishes to test Midgley's claims about the state of the field, you can see the most recent issue of the Journal of Early Christian Studies here. As the official journal of the North American Patristics Society, this is the premier American publication of the field. I count one article in the whole issue having to do with sexuality.

The field certainly is quite different from what it was when Nibley was writing, although Petrey is overdoing it somewhat in portraying scholarship in Nibley's time as concerned chiefly with questions of orthodoxy. I would say say they were occupied mostly with institutions, politics, and ideas—"history" as then understood (perhaps properly understood, but I know I'll win no friends for saying so). Orthodox and heresy were significant not for questions of confession but because that dynamic had institutional implications and thus lasting effects on the course of Mediterranean, European, and indeed world history. Despite the name of the fields professional association, there is clearly a taboo about using terms like "patristics" and "patrology," which is what its practicitioners used to think it was about: the writings of the church Fathers. Turning it into a "studies" field is supposed to have made it more inclusive and broad in terms of what kinds of texts are read, although I think that's ____ because all those para-patristic texts were always part of the discussion (even Quasten's mid-twentieth century manual of patrology makes considerable space to discuss them).

But technical knowledge used to matter in a way that it doesn't anymore. So of course the kinds of questions are different; there aren't many texts left to be edited, for one thing, and hardly anyone has the skills to do the few that are left (maybe some Coptic and Ethiopic materials left to be explored, although again I don't think much competency in even that field exists: I have seen many brought up in "early christian studies" who imagine themselves to know Coptic because they can read New Testament passages only to wither before a single sentence of a native writer like Shenoute; they may be better people than someone like Paul de Lagarde, which is a low ethical bar, but they are vastly inferior scholars).

The kinds of questions Petrey lists and Midgley dislikes—"new topics such as body, sexuality, race and ethnicity, empire, and material culture, to name a few"—are obviously reflective of the social and political preoccupations of the people employed in the field. I wish Taylor Petrey would be more explicit about that, presuming he is capable of that degree of self-reflection, because that shift is really what they are arguing over. This shift is what Midgley probably means by his absurdist short-hand of "sex and gender" because to opponents, anyone of these topics is as tendentious as another, and instead Petrey has chosen to play a rhetorical game with an old dotard like Midgley who doesn't care enough to make fine distinctions: sex/gender/empire/race/ethnicity/empire are to him all avatars of the same activist ____.

Now, it may be emergent senility or apologetic silliness that gives wing to Midlgey's hyperoblic claim that sex/gender (and the rest of the list) is all that is done in the field, but Petrey is a bit disingenuous in listing them as just some among many approaches. Hardly. These kinds of preoccupations dominate the agenda for the field. Hardly any dissertation advisor would say: "hey, why not try a philological commentary, or an edition of a text?" Not gonna happen. Nor would anyone get tenure for doing any doing an edition of a text or any kind of real philology or a book on the rise of the episcopate in Gaul without talking about sex/gender/empire/race/ethnicity/identity/etc. at considerable length, whether relevant or not. Look at the job announcements each year and you can see what the field is like now—hence the wisdom of the dissertation advisor in steering students away from doing anything other than interpretive work. It used to be you had to prove your technical competence before you could be taken seriously as an interpreter; now all is an endless cycle of interpretive updating so as to address contemporary social and political anxieties of upper-middle class academics (since Trump's election, for example, there has been a sudden interest in rethinking of Visigoths etc. as "immigrants," which is just totally anachronistic and obviously motivated...there is huge interest in "eco-criticism" and climate in antiquity with predictable arguments and tendentious claims...and on...and on...). Sometimes there are someone genuine insights that result, but not nearly enough to justify all of this. At the very least, scholars of the past should preserve knowledge of that past, but preservation matters less than production.

Midgley is not totally wrong, even if he is clumsy.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

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Tom wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:05 pm
The professor loves to argue, and he’ll look for any opening to get a point in. It’s surprising, though, that he hasn’t come to Dr. M.’s defense on the substance. Perhaps he’s too busy working on the film and his forthcoming books.
Or he's working on getting Jonathan Neville excommunicated.

And am I mistaken, or did Prof. P. praise another poster for doxxing a critic?

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Lemmie »

Thanks for the post, Symmachus, that was very enlightening. I won’t presume to disagree with you as it is not my field, but I do think you are giving Midgley way too much credit for making a cogent argument. What Petrey was opposed to seemed much more specific, and directly related to Midgley’s long-standing habit of making up personal slurs to lend support to an academic position:
Petrey:

...I simply ask (again) that you cease misrepresenting me and my short article. I am not a "critic" who "ridicules" Nibley, I did not describe the field of early Christian studies as "focused on sexual orientation and gender" nor fault Nibley for not doing so, and I did not "wrongly" call his piece a chapter. I don't expect you to actually apologize or admit your errors, but I would appreciate if you would at least desist from making them again. Thank you.

http://disq.us/p/29dhlnk
A year ago, Petrey also noted that what he objected to was Midgley similarly mischaracterizing his paper:
Petrey:

The argument I am making about how the questions that scholars of early Christianity ask today have changed from what they were doing in the mid-twentieth does not resemble Midgely's mischaracterization as a slight against Nibley--quite the opposite--I show him to be fully engaged in the contemporary scholarship of his day. Further, neither of the things Midgley mentions ("sexual orientation" or "gender") are words that appear in my article.

http://disq.us/p/1yjhip5
[bolding added]

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Tom »

Doctor Scratch wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:48 pm
Tom wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 12:05 pm
The professor loves to argue, and he’ll look for any opening to get a point in. It’s surprising, though, that he hasn’t come to Dr. M.’s defense on the substance. Perhaps he’s too busy working on the film and his forthcoming books.
Or he's working on getting Jonathan Neville excommunicated.

And am I mistaken, or did Prof. P. praise another poster for doxxing a critic?
Yes, I noticed that development. I assume that Peter Pan and Captain Hook are next.

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Re: Migley and Taylor Petrey Discuss Nibley

Post by Gadianton »

Symmachus,

It's great to have you comment on the latest joust between Petrey and Midgley. As always, I enjoy your contrarian spirit and your skepticism of New MI scholarship. I share your concerns; well, as I've mentioned before, long ago I walked down a similar path barely aided, but couldn't convince myself it led anywhere. Of course, I really can't pass judgement of Petrey's work, but your summaries offer a reasonable connection to what I was familiarizing myself with two decades ago.
Symmachus wrote:I have seen many brought up in "early christian studies" who imagine themselves to know Coptic because they can read New Testament passages only to wither before a single sentence of a native writer like Shenoute;
LOL!

Sorry, the above passage actually doesn't relate to anything I have to say, but it hit my funny bone and so I had to quote it.
Symmachus wrote:Now, it may be emergent senility or apologetic silliness that gives wing to Midlgey's hyperoblic claim that sex/gender (and the rest of the list) is all that is done in the field, but Petrey is a bit disingenuous in listing them as just some among many approaches. Hardly. These kinds of preoccupations dominate the agenda for the field. Hardly any dissertation advisor would say: "hey, why not try a philological commentary, or an edition of a text?" Not gonna happen. Nor would anyone get tenure for doing any doing an edition of a text or any kind of real philology or a book on the rise of the episcopate in Gaul without talking about sex/gender/empire/race/ethnicity/identity/etc.
I think that I do see your point, which means by extension that I also see Midgley's point. The issue I have is the apologists' glaring hypocrisy on this point. A few days ago, Kiwi57 announced that science is merely the instantiation of politics as he defended the Restoration -- or was it NDEs? And then, within days -- or maybe hours -- he single-handedly took out the trash strewn over a Coronavirus thread by DCP's right-wing sycophants; the lowest of the low participants there. His arguments were dead on, whereas DCP's sycophants showed the most obvious examples of politics underwriting factual discussion imaginable. I'm pretty sure, for that thread, Kiwi57 didn't see his own arguments about the way the virus spreads, moral hazards in worker and consumer decision making, and mitigation strategies for preventing the virus spread as a construct of his own political identity.

DCP, in the very thread under discussion, has taken issue with Petrey over the nature of apologetics. DCP has argued this before. For him, all scholarship is apologetics. Take the bare notion of methodological naturalism: it's an assumption that science goes by, but an assumption nonetheless and why not assume supernaturalism instead? That's just as logically valid!

And then there's Mr. Midgley, who several years ago took a big pat on the back from Massimo Introvigne in FARMS for his postmodern enlightenment. Midgley had written an essay called "The Acids of Modernity and the Crisis in Mormon Historigraphy." The "crisis" of course, was Brent Metcalfe and others who showed just how out of tune faithful Mormon history is with reality. The Mopologist response was to paint critics as a bunch of narrow fanatics whose only objective was to prove Joseph Smith false. (as if they have ever, EVER had an objective other than proving Joseph Smith true) Mr. M quotes Martey:
Mr. Midgley wrote:Marty strives to avoid the prophet/fraud dialectic, while still addressing Joseph Smith’s prophetic claims. He proposes two ways to do this. First, historians might simply bracket or suspend the question of whether Joseph Smith was a genuine prophet and the Book of Mormon an authentic ancient history. They could do so in order to deal with “a new range of questions,” which include: “what sort of people are these people [who believe such things], what sort of faith is this faith, what sort of prophet with what sort of theophany and revelation was Joseph Smith?”
Huh. Is it just me, or are these kind of questions exactly what the New MI gets into? It's not that any of the apologists really care about any of this, but if there is a trend in current scholarship that says to take a multifaceted approach to history and that leaves the critics as out of touch, then it's as good a weapon as any, right? It's like if a robber breaches your property and you're right there, and a rake happens to be leaning against the wall and you grab it and take care of business, it's not that you really care about rakes one way or another, but one happened to be there and it did the job.

Anyway, my point is that any time the apologists call upon Martin Marty, or let guys like M. Introvigne defend them, or discuss the plurality of epistemic frameworks (to salvage NDEs), or disparage the stability of science, they are drawing upon a tradition that rose to power by investigating "sex/gender" and all that kind of stuff the apologists can't stomach.

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