The Book of Judges reflects considerable diversity in the premonarchical religion of Israel, and this is confirmed by archaeology. The final editors of the Hebrew Bible (OT) had a rather idealistic view of religious conditions—the Levites led the other tribes in the worship of Yahweh, which contrasted sharply with the idolatry of the Canaanites. Once we get behind the editorial framework of the compilers, however, we find a far more complex situation.
State of the Discipline in Religious Studies
How Academics in the field of Religious Studies make a living
Required for Academic Tenure (and because of interest and collegial interaction at conferences and to stay up on developments in the field): • Teach college courses (undergraduate and graduate) • Publish scholarly books in academic presses (for reputation) • Publish articles in academic journals (for reputation) • Speaking at academic conferences (for reputation) • Get grants to pursue research, portions of which go back to the university (only in the sciences does a portion of the grant go back to the university; in the humanities traditionally the university does not get a part of the small grants. However, if it is a large grant then there is a portion of the award that the university skims off for "administrative purposes." • Participate in university committees • Perform community service in a variety of venues • Perform service for the discipline (committees, review books, serve as regional directors of a professional society, serve on editorial boards of journals and presses, etc) Optional (for money and reputation): • Public speaking engagements for fees • Publish popularized books for the general public • Publish in alternative markets (newspaper columns, etc.) • Teach continuing education courses or courses at churches/outside facilities • Blog (reputation and engagement and community service) • Appearances on TV specials & movies • Outside consulting (does this happen in religious studies? Movies?) (Scholars consult for a variety of reasons: movies, evaluating other departments of religious studies, read books sent by publishers who are considering publishing them. What Scholars are Generally NOT Doing (with a few exceptions): • Collaborating with organizations such as Westar to advance their fields and specialties outside the university enclave • Using the web for collaborative research, aside from email and blogs