The following is part of a series of short interviews with academic bloggers. (The ‘hub’ for the discussion is the initial post on Starting an Academic Blog where the discussion and links to interviews are kept up-to-date).
Today I’m happy to have Dr. Chris Keith share his thoughts on academic blogging. We earlier interviewed his co-blogger, Anthony Le Donne, and together they maintain the Jesus Blog. Dr. Keith (Ph.D. University of Edinburgh) is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary’s University College, London. He is the author of The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (2009), a winner of the 2010 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, and Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee (2011).
1. When and why did you start blogging?
I started in 2012 as the instigation of Anthony Le Donne. We had discussed the possibility of doing a blog on historical Jesus scholarship for a couple of years and finally just pulled the trigger.
2. What are a few of the benefits you see in blogging?
I think there’s a blogging community of which it is useful to be part. I tend to see blogging and facebook as the front lines of current research. I don’t mean that they’ve replaced peer-review journal articles, but that blogs are where I often turn to find out the most recent information on developments in New Testament studies. I can’t read every journal, or even most of them. But blog discussions of who’s-said-what are really helpful for an overview. Plus, blogs are one way to have immediate contact with members of the general public who are interested in your topic.
3. Should more academics be blogging?
I’m not sure how to answer this. I wish they would, but I don’t know that they should. I can’t blame people for not blogging or not wanting to blog. It’s a lot of time.
4. What advice would you give an academic who is thinking about starting?
Know upfront that it takes more time than you’d guess.