X Marks the Arabs?

As I was thinking about the way Americans can misperceive danger elsewhere in the world compare to where they live, I was reminded of something amusing that happened the last time I was in Israel and the West Bank with students. One of the students had noticed an “X” hanging from the rear-view mirrors of cars, [Read More…]

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Demonization is Dangerous

Here is a larger excerpt from the online article that the above quote comes from: The demonization of the Other is dangerous first and foremost for us. It endangers our humanity; it instills us with fear of the unknown. After all, they are different from us, they operate according to different and unfamiliar codes. This [Read More…]

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Pihta and Polemic in the Mandaean Canonical Prayerbook

Jorunn Buckley's paper at the ARAM conference on the Mandaeans focused on a series of prayers focused on the pihta, a special bread used in Mandaean ritual. There are references and allusions to other groups which are viewed as not making or eating the bread in an appropriate manner.   I think that CP357 is [Read More…]

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Mandaeans and Other Marsh Arabs

Via Access to Mideast and Islamic Resources, I learned of the Marsh Arabs Heritage Project, which looks at the cultural, religious, and social life of the marshlands of Southern Iraq, including the Mandaeans, but also Muslims, Jews, Christians, Yezidis and others. The pdf downloads appear not to have been added yet, but there is in [Read More…]

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Israel and the Palestinians: Reading Recommendations Sought

I’m hoping to read three books with students who will be participating in the trip to Israel/Palestine in May 2012. The first I’ve already decided on, and it is A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground by Bruce Fisk. I’m also using it as a textbook in my historical Jesus class. [Read More…]

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X-Men First Class: Never Again, Ever Again

I finally got around to watching X-Men First Class, and found it not only an enjoyable superhero action movie and a satisfying prequel exploring the earlier lives of the X-Men, but also a challenging parable about the danger of history repeating itself when we most want to avoid it doing so In the first X-Men [Read More…]

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