Nerd Fundamentalism at #AARSBL15

Today I travel to the joint annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. I will try to blog about the conference as it happens. My conference paper for this year’s SBL conference will be presented in a session of the Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship program unit on the theme Imaginal [Read More...]

The Fear of Doubt (Truth and Tribalism)

A fantastic point was made recently on the blog Atheist Revolution, defining freethought as above all else a rejection of tribalism. Here’s an excerpt from the post: I find that one of the most important implications of freethought is that it rejects the sort of tribalism that would lead one to accept some ideas and reject others [Read More...]

The Last Blogger Session #AARSBL15

This year’s session of the SBL Blogger and Online Publication program unit will be the last ever, and we will be going out with a bang. This final blogger session will feature a panel of well-known bloggers whose blogs – like their scholarly activity more generally – reflects and represents well the full range of kinds of [Read More...]

50 Ways to Forge a Gospel

As the song lyrics indicate, it genuinely was at the 2015 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium that I got the idea for this song, and mentioned it to Bart Ehrman over a drink after his keynote address, which was the primary inspiration for the song, although the whole range of papers were in mind and there [Read More...]

That’s Not (De)conversion

If someone moves from fundamentalist religion to fundamentalist atheism, or vice versa, they haven’t actually converted or deconverted. It is only when you move from fundamentalism to a more mature and balanced view that you’ve actually undergone a fundamental change. I wrote the above words when sharing Allan Bevere’s tips for diagnosing and curing unreformed [Read More...]

#AARSBL15 Blogger Dinner and Drinks at Meehan’s

Here’s the latest and probably final update about the meeting of AAR religion bloggers and SBL bibliobloggers at this year’s annual meeting in Atlanta, for dinner and/or drinks. It is scheduled for the evening of Sunday, November 22nd, at 5pm. The event will be held at Meehan’s Public House, which is located at 200 Peachtree St [Read More...]

Bible School Primer for Governors

I just saw the news that Indiana governor Mike Pence has begun turning away refugees. It would be shameful under any circumstances, but Pence pretends to be a defender of Christian values, which makes it all the more disgusting. The above image came my way via Facebook. Unfortunately, Facebook isn’t letting me post links to [Read More...]

All It Takes Is One

Yesterday I came across quotes from Roslyn and Bob Cargill, and I thought they deserved to be shared with a wider audience. First here’s Roslyn: Why is it when it comes to helping refugees in need, treating others as we would want to be treated, and loving our neighbors, conservative Christians scream out, “Yeah, but it [Read More...]

How The Terrorists Win

This thought from Waleed Aly was shared by J. K. Doyle: Terrorism is, above all, a test of character for the community that suffers at the hands of terrorism. The very worst people in the world have come to take away our humanity. What are we going to do about it? The community that keeps [Read More...]

Nones and Mystics

There have been nuns who have been mystics. But that’s not what this is about. It has been common for religious freethinkers of various types to be labeled atheists by their religious opponents, and then claimed as such by atheists as well. But in many instances, these individuals are spiritual and may not sit comfortably in the [Read More...]

Magic Bowls at #AARSBL15 in Atlanta

For those interested in Judaism, Mandaeism, Late Antiquity, ancient magic, Aramaic, and any number of other topics, there are two sessions at AAR this year that you ought not to miss. One is the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity session, about which I’ll include details further below. But the other is a session which will [Read More...]