Monday, October 5, 2009

Rusty Reno on Duke

Theologian Rusty Reno has, once again, offered his "crude and impressionistic" musings on what he takes to be the best graduate programs in theology, opining that Duke's program is the best, followed by Notre Dame.

While his claims are sure to ruffle feathers, perhaps especially at Duke, I thought readers of this blog might be interested in what he says about biblical studies at Duke:

There is a further reason why Duke is a remarkable place. In the mid-twentieth
century, Karl Rahner pronounced the Bible off limits for theologians. Systematic
theologians, he argued, should not presume upon the domain of properly
“scientific” historical exegesis. To my mind, this untenable divide between
theology and biblical interpretation has crippled both systematic and biblical
theology. Duke’s program works against this divide. Richard Hays, Kavin Rowe,
Stephen Chapman, and Ellen Davis are biblical scholars who can (and want) to
talk to students about Augustine, Aquinas, the Reformers, Karl Barth, and even
Karl Rahner. Moreover, Stanley Hauerwas has written a biblical commentary, and
Reinhard Hütter and Paul Griffiths are working on commentaries as well. Duke is
the ground zero for a restoration of theology to biblical exegesis, and biblical
exegesis to theology.

Feel free to raise objections!


  1. See the observations and slight correction made by Mark Goodacre:

  2. Thanks anon. This is an important correction. Goodacre first quotes Reno writing:

    "In the past, the main problem with Duke was institutional. The PhD program is run through the Duke University department of religion, and only a couple of students a year were admitted to study theology."

    Then Goodacre writes: "The PhD program is actually run by the Graduate Program in Religion, a collaborative venture involving both the Department of Religion and the Divinity School. It is true that only one or two students are admitted to the theology track each year, but there are eight or so students admitted to the program as a whole."

    In my opinion, one of the great strengths of our PhD program in NT is the fact that it draws on both the div school and the religion department.

  3. What commentary is Doktor Huetter writing?