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Catholic Life | Tag Archive | Academia vs. Blogs
Tag Archives: Academia vs. Blogs

West of Eden

The whole Dawn Eden vs. Christopher West debate strikes me as so odd. It seems that it is a typical blog-debate which it is not. It should be an intellectual academic tussle given the fact that Eden wrote a master’s thesis. As such, criticism of Eden for uncharitably attacking West is rather off-base. What did these people put in their college papers if they never contradicted anyone?!

But the reality is that this is not pure academic tussle. West (and Eden, from what we have seen so far) is not a theologian. He is a popularizer of John Paul II’s theology. This makes his writing something less than a worthy opponent in an extended academic theological critique (at least I hope this is true at the master’s level). Also, Eden posted her speech from her thesis defense on her blog. While Eden was smart enough to close comments, the fact that she posted part of her critique of West on her blog naturally reduces it to blog-fodder rather than an academic discussion. Suddenly it is not a debate for those familiar with the typical love-hate relationships of dusty theologians, but an all out war between Catholic fan-clubs.

And I sit back absolutely confused.

I am pleased that Eden tackled some of the biggest problems that I have with West, but I am baffled by the attempted merger of academia and blogosphere. I am obviously a fan of blogs for cultivating discussion, but the “rules” of the blogs can never be the same as those of the university. Or can they?

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