Mandaean Music

One of the best questions I was asked after my recent talk about the Mandaeans was from a music professor, who asked whether the Mandaeans have a distinctive musical tradition. I did not know the answer, and still do not, but the question is an important one, and I hope that some musicologist might one [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: The Brig

We learn that the Others have been eagerly awaiting Locke’s arrival among them. Ben tells Locke that Locke brought his father to the island. Ben tells Locke that he isn’t ready to join the Others, because he is still bound by the person he was before he came to the island. Everyone needs to make [Read More...]

Do What You Already Do, Publicly

Donna Yates recently offered this challenge to other academics, and I wanted to share it, since it gets at the heart of what it means to be an academic who blogs, or has a Twitter account, or who is otherwise active on social media: So, dear reader, I challenge you to evaluate your normal routine. [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: D.O.C.

In a flashback, a woman on a bench claims that Jin is not just the son of a fisherman, but the son of a prostitute, and asks for money from Sun to keep the secret. Sun finds Mr. Kwon, Jin’s father. He tells her that Jin’s mother was with many men, and left him with [Read More...]

Banning God from Schools and T-Shirts

It is interesting that an atheist could apparently see that the theology on the t-shirt on the left above is idiotic, while the conservative American Christian who made it, and those who wear it, apparently could not. Someone did their own version, making the t-shirt on the right above, which they shared on imgur. But the [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: Catch-22

Desmond sees a flash which involves not just Charlie’s death, but also someone coming to the island. He thinks it will be Penny, and so this time he wants the future that he has glimpsed to come about. Desmond takes Charlie, Hurley, and Jin “camping.” Then they hear a helicopter, and see someone “eject” from [Read More...]

Wikipistemology

The blog Only a Game had a wonderful post recently about the issue with Wikipedia, which is not about the information that is in many of the articles, but about what can be known to be behind them, and thus the confidence that one should or should not place in them. Here is a quote: The [Read More...]

Bill Nye on Child Mortality

HT Tom Bartley on Facebook [Read more...]

LOST Rewatch: One of Us

“One of Us” focuses on the story of Juliette and how she came to the island. Juliette, left behind by the Others, is taken along by Jack against Sayid’s objections. When they are alone, Sayid asks Juliette who “you people” are and why they make lists, kidnap children, and terrorize people, as well as who [Read More...]

I Love Heresy

The title of this post refers to the class called “Heresy,” which I am teaching this semester. We had a wonderful and interesting conversation in a recent class, on the subject of ideas about an afterlife, based on one of the readings for that class period, which was the Apocalypse of Peter. We discussed notions of retribution and [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: Left Behind

In a flashback, Kate helps Cassidy avoid having the police called when she tries to scam someone at a gas station. Kate is calling herself Lucy. When asked why she chose that name, Kate mentions it being a saint’s name, and having learned them all in Sunday school. It is interesting that Kate justifies having [Read More...]

Trusting Tertullian

Tertullian claims that the Acts of Paul and Thecla were forged in his time, and that a particular individual confessed to having done so. In the past, I’ve been willing to accept Tertullian’s account. But I am beginning to think that perhaps I should treat Tertullian’s claim with a greater degree of skepticism. One reason [Read More...]

LOST Rewatch: Expose

This is really the only episode in which Nikki and Paolo are at all the focus. It is strange to recall how much fans spoke about them and were annoyed by the alleged prominence given to them. They actually feature very little, and are no more of a focus than Artz and other characters who [Read More...]

Who Quoted Whom?

In a post on the blog Right Reason, Glenn Peoples seeks to make the case that Paul quotes from the Gospel of Luke. The reference is to the connection between 1 Timothy 5:17–18 and Luke 10:7. If one were to make the case that the Pastoral Epistles were by Paul, despite the implausibility, then it could still be [Read More...]


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