Divinity as Filter

David Brin shared a free short story of his on his blog, “Reality Check” from his book Insistence of Vision. I've been meaning to mention it here for a while. It explores the notion that “deification” might be a “filter” that explains why we have not encountered other intelligent species. Read the story to find [Read More…]

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Exploring the Matrix and the Mandaeans

The second half of my Talk Gnosis interview is now available as a podcast (and the video is available to subscribers, who will get to see me put on my Fourth Doctor scarf at the end of the discussion, when the conversation turns from the Mandaeans to classic Doctor Who. Click through to have a listen, on [Read More…]

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New Journal: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies

April DeConick shared the news on her blog that E. J. Brill is launching a new academic journal dedicated to the study of Gnosticism. Here is what the Brill website has to say about the journal: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies is a peer-reviewed publication devoted to the study of Gnostic religious currents from the ancient [Read More…]

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Mandaeans: Mysteries and Misunderstandings

The Mandaeans and related topics have gotten mentions in the blogosphere and elsewhere online recently, and so I thought I would round up some of those instances: Brian LePort has been teaching about John the Baptist, and in the process, has been diving into the Mandaean sources. Tony Burke noted, as did I, the Mandaeans [Read More…]

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Pistis Sophias

The composition is by Andrew Violette, and the score, which is visible in the video, is also available on IMSLP. [Read more…]

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Redeeming Gnosticism

There will be an interesting conference at Rice University this week: GNOSTIC COUNTERCULTURES: INTRIGUE AND TERROR (RICE UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON, 26-28 MARCH) Upcoming in Texas, a taste of something completely different: “Members of this congress will explore the Gnostic in Western culture from the ancient world to the modern New Age, tracing the emergence, persistence, and [Read More…]

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The First Baptists, The Last Gnostics

Here’s a recording of the talk I gave about the Mandaeans yesterday to an audience of faculty, staff, and students at Butler University, as part of the Faculty Brown Bag series. [Read more…]

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Pope Francis, Anti-Science Creationists, and the Gnostic Demiurge

I am grateful to Joel Watts for pointing out the original Italian text of something that the Pope recently said, which had puzzled me in the English translations I had encountered: Dio non è un demiurgo o un mago, ma il Creatore che dà l’essere a tutti gli enti. L’inizio del mondo non è opera del [Read More…]

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Did Jesus Die in Outer Space?

Over the past several weeks I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, which The Bible and Interpretation kindly sent me a copy of, asking me to provide them with a review. It soon became clear to me that a single review with an overview of [Read More…]

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Shape-Shifting Palimpsest Jesus

I will confess that I tend not to expect certain adamant atheist bloggers to offer nuanced and insightful discussions of matters of religion. And so I want to thank P. Z. Myers for challenging my stereotypes. Here is an excerpt from his recent post, “Palimpsest Jesus”: And there he is! Palimpsest Jesus! Once you spot [Read More…]

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Gnostic Intellectuals?

I apologize that I didn’t manage to find the time until now to mention the conversation about ancient Gnostic intellectuals that has been taking place lately. Read Larry Hurtado’s post that sparked the discussion, April DeConick’s response, Larry Hurtado’s reply,  as well as contributions by Mike Bird and Jared Calaway. I think it is fair [Read More…]

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