Biblical scholar David M. Carr checks in from Putnam Valley, NY. We get into how his book, Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins, resonates with our current moment, how he was trapped in Mallorca when the European semisorta travel ban was announced, the ways Tiger King reflects our own cagedness, the work he’s doing on the book of Genesis and the nature of the myth of the Flood, the power of Jewish traditions (especially talking back to God), and how our relationship with our pets may disturbingly mirror the patterns and language people used to use about slaves. Give it a listen! And go read Holy Resilience!
You can listen to all these COVID Check-In episodes at The COVID-19 Sessions.
About our Guest
David M. Carr is Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Over his decades-long academic career, he has become an international authority on the formation of the Bible, ancient scribal culture, and issues of the Bible and sexuality. He has written numerous books and articles, including The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality and the Bible and Writing on the Tablet of the Heart, both published by Oxford University Press. He is now working on a major scholarly commentary on Genesis 1-11.
Decades into a career as a biblical scholar, he suffered a life-threatening bicycle accident that changed his view of the scriptures he had devoted his life to studying. As he grappled with his own individual trauma and survival of it, he became interested in how the collective trauma of Israel and the early church had shaped the Bible. He saw that these holy texts are defined by survival of communal catastrophe. This is part of what makes them special, what made them last. The result of this basic insight is his 2014 book, Holy Resilience: The Bible’s Traumatic Origins (Yale University Press, Fall 2014).
Credits: The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of David by his wife. It’s on my instagram.