The End of Two Weeks

ConfusionReligious and Theological studies are broken into two — though there are doubtlessly more, hidden and fractured deep within the bowels of the academy — camps: those who deal with theory and those who deal with texts. The theorists are indifferent to the critics; the critics believe the theorists romp about a cumulous-like la-la land. If you have masters training in one, then you, obviously, do not have it in the other. The problem lies, then, in starting a PhD program and, in some ways, being responsible for both. I know Marcus Borg, but I’m foggy on Michel Foucault. I understand the textual apparatus, but have no idea what structuralism is. As one professor said, in both a humbling and sobering moment: “The impostor syndrome never goes away.”

So I sit, I listen, and I pretend to know stuff. And when someone — that fourth year in love with Frantz Fanon — says, “The system of hydrophobic repression dealt a particular blow to the challenges of modernity in ways that Fanon only dreamt about in the recessions of his deeply held and problematic awareness of dolphins,” I nod in agreement with crinkled and focused eyebrows. “Yeah, sure,” I think, “that sounds right — wait…what?”

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