Cory Crawford—“exhaustive examination and detailed description”

06.18.2018 | The Maxwell Institute

Cory Crawford is currently visiting the Maxwell Institute as recipient of a short-term research grant. He’s working on a book about the Jerusalem temple, dealing especially with something scholars in the field have long neglected—the role of gender in understanding the temple, and the role of the temple in understanding gender.
Cory Crawford on Disciple-Scholarship When it comes to scholarship in the context of communities of faith, I’ve been strongly influenced by the example of Richard Bushman, whom I heard say once that the only way to make progress in understanding—whether inside or outside a faith tradition—is to examine a problem as exhaustively as possible, to describe it as accurately as possible, and only then can one begin to pursue its implications. It is this exhaustive examination and detailed description that I am pursuing this summer. I am also guided by the axiom of my friend and colleague Dr. Jill Kirby, who said in Studies in the Bible and Antiquity that “bad scholarship is not faithful scholarship” (SBA 6 [2014]: 100). Beyond these guiding ideals, my experience as a Mormon has of course shaped the way I think about sacred space and ritual—and my experience of space and ritual also shaped the way I think about myself—and it engendered in me an interest to understand the role of sacred space in ancient social narratives and collective self-understanding. I’m grateful to the Maxwell Institute for providing me the opportunity to sit with these questions over the summer.
Crawford is assistant professor of Biblical Studies in the Department of Classics and World Religions at Ohio University. He previously served as associate editor of the Institute’s Studies in the Bible and Antiquity. He has published in various venues related to Bible and ancient Near East. He is co-editor of a volume under contract with Oxford University Press, provisionally entitled The Bible in Mormonism: A Guide to Scripture in the Latter-day Saint Tradition. Learn more about Crawford here.