Chad Bauman, Blogger

My colleague at Butler, Chad Bauman, recently wrote a piece for Religion Dispatches, on the perception he has encountered among Hindus in India that “Americans hate Muslims, too.” Here’s a sample: Still today, when I travel in India, Hindus presupposing my agreement frequently make off-handed and derogatory comments about their Muslim neighbors. For those concerned [Read More…]

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Do Flat-Earthers Live On The Same Planet We Do?

Flat-Earthers have been getting more attention lately, for reasons that I cannot quite fathom. But I will not complain, and here’s why: Jonathan Robinson found a wonderful application for an analogy with those who insist that the Earth is flat. Even though flat-earthers say things about the Earth that are blatantly untrue and clearly wrong, we would nonetheless [Read More…]

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ISNA Vandalized

I have felt connected to very important events in recent years, as well as more closely in touch with Islam in North America, thanks to the presence of the Islamic Society of North America's headquarters in nearby Plainfield. Students from Butler regularly visit there, and some have even done internships. And so I was dismayed [Read More…]

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X-Files 10.5 – Babylon

No need to justify discussing this episode of the X-Files in relation to religion – the episode begins with a Muslim man at prayer. The same man goes to pick up another Arabic-speaking friend, and then they go to an art gallery called Ziggurat, where there is a depiction of the prophet Muhammad. They blow it up. [Read More…]

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But I Tell You Whoever Googles Hatred

The New York Times had an article recently on the spike in “hate searches” after events such as terrorist attacks. The term “hate search” refers to things typed into search engines which express hatred towards an entire category of people, such as Muslims. After reading about this phenomenon, I imagined Jesus’ words being updated for [Read More…]

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Depicting Jesus and Buddha

Today’s Bizarro cartoon takes a look at how we depict important figures. What do you think about this topic when considered in a more serious way? How has the openness of Buddhists and Christians to depicting the key figures in their traditions impacted the way people think about them? Has the prohibition against depicting Muhammad helped safeguard his [Read More…]

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Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam #CFP

I had the above video of a roundtable discussion of “Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam” drawn to my attention. It took place at last year’s ASMEA conference. Apparently the topic will be a focus again next year, and so there is a call for papers that is currently open that some of you may [Read More…]

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The Marrakesh Declaration: Religious Minorities in Muslim Lands

If you haven’t heard yet, a statement has been issued by a group of hundreds of Muslim scholars, called the Marrakesh Declaration, on the subject of religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries. After an extensive preamble explaining the context and background, the group does the following: Call upon Muslim scholars and intellectuals around the world to [Read More…]

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A Message to Parents in Greenville, Virginia

Readers of this blog have presumably heard the news about a small number of parents in Greenville, Virginia who complained and threatened to pull their children out from school because children were learning about world religions, and one activity involved trying to imitate the calligraphy in which the Arabic statement of faith was written on the worksheet. [Read More…]

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Too Bad The House of One Probably Won’t Have A Bar

My attention was drawn to the plan to build a combined church/mosque/synagogue in Berlin, to be called the “House of One.” I suspect that it will not have a bar, given Muslim opposition to alcoholic beverages. But it’s a pity, because there is so much potential for them to use jokes about a priest, a rabbi, [Read More…]

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Traditions and Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity – #AARSBL15 Monday Afternoon

Traditions or Eastern Late Antiquity co-sponsored a session with the SBL section on Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity, focused on exploring and problematizing the phenomena that have been labeled “Christianization” and “Islamicization.” The papers looked at topics at the intersection of the two traditions, such as celibacy, and sacred space. I was delighted to see [Read More…]

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