Torchwood: Dead Man Walking

As I continue to watch through Torchwood, I am struck by how much this darker, raunchier, more pessimistic spin-off of Doctor Who focuses on religious themes, imagery, stories and symbols. In this episode, “Dead Man Walking,” we learn that a church had been built on top of a site where a resurrection glove had been [Read More...]

The Lord’s Prayer in Indiana Public Schools?

As if the news of attempts to get creationism into science classrooms were not bad enough, there is another proposed law that seeks to allow schools to mandate the recitation of the Lord’s prayer. Here’s the text of Senate Bill 251: Sec. 4.6. (a) In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development [Read More...]

Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul? Chapter 3: Christianity as Community

With his new book Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul?: A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity, Daniel Kirk attempts to mediate between Paul and those who view him with some degree of suspicion or distaste. This post is part of the blog tour being hosted by Baker Academic Press, and will focus [Read More...]

Starfleet Victory Tebow

The Starfleet American Football team’s three lead players tebow in secular thanksgiving for their victory over the gods of Olympus’ team. [Read more...]

Doctor Who: Enlightenment

“Enlightenment” is the third and final episode in the Black Guardian trilogy, and another of my favorites from when I was younger. On the DVD release there is a second disc in which some of the special effects have been redone using CGI technology. The episode features godlike beings that had already been encountered on [Read More...]

The Burial of Jesus, the James Ossuary, and the Talpiot Tomb

I’ve been revising The Burial of Jesus: History and Faith and I hope a second edition of it will be available as a ebook at some point in the future. One topic that has given me pause is the intersection of the questions related to the New Testament evidence, the James Ossuary, and the Talpiot [Read More...]

Droids with Feelings (or is it Existential Angst?)

I’ve actually written some serious treatments of whether machines can ever be people, including in my chapter in Religion and Science Fiction. The series of posters that IO9 highlighted today about droids suffering from what they described as “low self esteem” actually seem to me to depict them doing more than that, reflecting on very [Read More...]

Unfair Tactics in the Postmortem on the War on the War on Christmas?

Timothy Dalrymple posted a blog entry responding to one that I wrote for a previous Christmas and shared again this year. His historical point about uncertainty regarding the reason for the choice of date is probably a fair one. But I don’t think that I was at all caricaturing those who think there is a [Read More...]

How Big Is Your God?

Sabio Lantz posted a graphic asking how big your deity is, with a continuum running from abstraction to judge. I would have had the continuum running the other way. The sort of deity that is anthropomorphized and reflects our worst traits, looking to inflict suffering on people who fail to sing his praises (literally or [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Gunfighters

The Doctor Who episode “The Gunfighters” is a light-hearted one with lots of comedy. The Doctor and his companions end up in Tombstone in the wild West. There the Doctor gets mistaken for Doc Holliday and deputized by Wyatt Earp (whom he persistently refers to as “Mr. Wearp”) while Stephen and Dodo are forced to [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker

“The Celestial Toymaker” is an episode of Doctor Who from the William Hartnell era, and most of the original footage is lost. Gary Zimmer sums up the significance of this early episode of Doctor Who very well: “`The Celestial Toymaker‘ was unlike any previous Doctor Who story. Until then stories had been in either of two [Read More...]


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