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In Retirement, Religion Professor Seeks Truth Through Personal Study

Andrew Seaman
/
Flickr via Creative Commons

Former Missouri State University Professor of Religious Studies, Dr. Charles W. Hedrick, recently published a book containing a series of Short Essays. The book, “Unmasking Biblical Faiths: The Marginal Relevance of the Bible for Contemporary Religious Faith,” is a compilation of essays originally written as blog posts.

From 2007 to 2017, Dr. Hedrick had been writing short essays bi-weekly, and publishing them on his blog called “Wry thoughts about Religion.” Hedrick would then go on to edit the essays to make them more print friendly, recently publishing them in a collection called "Unmasking Biblical Faiths."

"What I had purpose to do in the remaining years of my life was to solve some problems for myself. In other words, to ask questions that I had not asked before," Hedrick said. "So the book represents ten years of questions about religion that interested me."

Hedrick said that all he really needed to start writing was an idea.

I mean, it could be nothing more than a little seed phrase that my muse planted in my head, and then I start chewing on that a little bit," Hedrick said. "And then it mushrooms. And one day, I sit down at the computer and I start typing, and see where it goes."

There are several essays in which Hedrick has posed a question, or has attempted to construct an answer or a timeline in order to solve those problems that were on his mind. One essay, “The Beginning of Christology,” looks at the timeline when Jesus went from just being known as a man to being revered as a God.

"In that particular essay I do track it," Hedrick said. "I try to track the process all the way from Jesus as a Judean man, walking the dusty lanes of Galilee, to his becoming a God in the faith of the 5th or 6th century Church."

In writing these essays, Hedrick had the freedom to explore any religious topic that crossed his mind. Issue’s that caught his attention, or whatever questions he personally wanted to address, served as a basis for what he would eventually write about.

"Whatever interested me was what I wrote about," Hedrick said, "which was fascinating to have that freedom, not to have to worry about teaching students information, but to resolve it for myself."

Hedrick’s book is available for purchase here.