Naive vs. Conscious Literalism

In a recent post I mentioned the distinction Marcus Borg makes between naive and conscious literalism. At heart, the difference is as follows. Naive literalism involves someone (e.g. a Biblical author) treating something as factually true because he or she has no reason to believe otherwise. So, for instance, in the case of the ascension, [Read More...]

Is the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic?

Judy Redman wants to know what you think, so please pay a visit to her blog and participate in her poll! [Read more...]

Keith Ward, Big Questions in Science and Religion 5: What Is The Nature Of Space And Time?

“The ascension is harder to believe in than the resurrection.” Someone made the above statement in a conversation we were having, and I immediately thought of something mentioned in chapter 5 of Keith Ward’s book The Big Questions in Science and Religion. After discussing briefly some traditional notions of time and space in cosmologies of [Read More...]

Keith Ward, Big Questions in Science and Religion 4: Do the Laws of Nature Exclude Miracles?

Ward’s chapter 4 deals with a perennial issue at the interface between religion and science: miracles. Ward rightly points out that laws of nature are mathematical descriptions of aspects of the universe and not “laws” in any usual sense in which that word is normally used. Indeed, one might note the irony that such language [Read More...]

Scholarly Publishing

Since I know lots of academics in different fields read this blog, I thought I’d ask a question of particular interest to us. How do (or would) you list publications on your blog that are aimed at a general readership but are not for that reason lacking in academic value or scholarly content? Many of [Read More...]

Keith Ward, Big Questions in Science and Religion 3: Is Evolution Compatible with Creation?

This chapter begins by noting that many religious worldviews take for granted that things are getting and will continue to get progressively worse, not better. Ward then moves on the the view in the medieval epoch that the cause of anything must be greater than the thing caused. It took the Enlightenment era’s newfound openness [Read More...]

Ironic Sans: A New Hope for the 2008 Election

Thanks to Bad Astronomy for making me aware of the Ironic Sans blog, full of amusing stuff, from this poll, to campaign materials like the following: And to help you prepare for the real election on November 4th, there’s this useful tool: [Read more...]

Around the Blogosphere

Chet Raymo has begun blogging about Ken Miller’s book Only a Theory. Brian Switek surveys reactions to Darwin’s Descent. Clashing Culture hosts the Carnival of Evolution. Jessica Palmer asks if you are sure the earth is round. April de Conick blogs about early Jewish and Christian polytheism. John Drury ponders what happens to funerals if [Read More...]

The Matrix and Revolutions

It is blog action day, with the theme of poverty. One way people and societies attempt to address poverty is through revolutions. One type of revolution that fits with the theme and title of this blog is…Matrix Revolutions. The concept behind the Matrix films is a fascinating one. If one treats the matrix as a [Read More...]

Blog Action Day: Poverty and Biblical Economics

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, and this year’s theme is poverty, so I thought it would be interesting to blog about “Biblical economics”. There is a long history of appealing to the Bible to justify economic practices, such as the notion that the commandment not to steal places a divine stamp of approval on [Read More...]

Henri Pognon, Inscriptions mandaites des coupes de Khouabir

Another classic work on the Mandaeans has been made available on the Internet Archive: Henri Pognon, Inscriptions mandaites des coupes de Khouabir. [Read more...]

Professor Wikipedia See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor. HT Targuman [Read more...]

Heroes, Angels and Monsters

Last night’s episode of Heroes raised a lot of interesting subjects with its God-talk. First, there was Angela Petrelli mentioning that those who were involved in the attempt to give abilities artificially were “attempting to be better than God”. The whole notion of “playing God” is double edged, but one rarely hears talk of trying [Read More...]

Rena Hogg, Kenneth Bailey and Oral Tradition

Anyone who followed the interaction between Jimmy Dunn and Theodore Weeden about the claims Kenneth Bailey made about oral tradition in Arab society, may be aware of an example Bailey appealed to in support of his case for “informal controlled oral tradition”. He mentions a story about missionary John Hogg recorded in the biography of [Read More...]