God and the Candidates

This primary has been fascinating, as someone who studies (among other things) the intersection of religion and the public sphere. Several candidates confidently asserted that God told them to run for president. None of them are continuing their campaigns at this stage. And so we’ve seen clear evidence yet again that political conservatives will happily try to [Read More…]

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Rabbis in Space

The Times of Israel has an article about the volume I contributed to, Touching the Face of the Cosmos. The article focuses on the chapter by Rabbi Barry Schwartz. The contribution by the president of his shul, Lance Strate, also gets a mention. Click through to read the article. See also Molly Vozick-Levinson’s blog post about [Read More…]

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Call for Papers on Aramaic Magical Bowls

The American Academy of Religion’s Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity program unit, and the Society of Biblical Literature Aramaic program unit and Religious World in Late Antiquity Section, are co-sponsoring a session on the Aramaic and Mandaic magical bowls. A session is being planned on the Aramaic magic bowls. Given the interdisciplinary sponsorship, we propose [Read More…]

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Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam #CFP

I had the above video of a roundtable discussion of “Jewish Christianity and the Origins of Islam” drawn to my attention. It took place at last year’s ASMEA conference. Apparently the topic will be a focus again next year, and so there is a call for papers that is currently open that some of you may [Read More…]

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That’s Not Kabbalah

Anyone familiar with Jewish mysticism will get why I thought for a moment that it was. And anyone who has to deal with America’s non-metric measuring system will find this guide to that confusing mystical realm helpful. Via Neil Carter on Facebook. [Read more…]

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Archaeological Evidence for Jewish Christianity

Eldad Keynan has been looking for archaeological evidence of ancient Jewish Christianity in Israel for a long time, and has turned up a number of intriguing finds. His most recent, and possibly most important, is what appears to be a Jewish Christian mikveh – the only one of its kind. Click through to read his [Read More…]

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What Would It Take To Get You To Read Richard Carrier’s Book?

A commenter on this blog mentioned how useful it would be if scholars in Classics, ancient Jewish history, or Roman history were to read and give their impressions of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. The truth is that, just as I am perhaps going to [Read More…]

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John the Jew (2016 Enoch Seminar Conference)

Next summer, the Enoch Seminar will hold a conference with the title “John the Jew: Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as a Form of Jewish Messianism.” It will be held in Camaldoli, Italy, and I am delighted to be one of the participants in this event. Here’s a description of the purpose of the meeting [Read More…]

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Infinite Religious Diversity in Infinite Combinations

The cartoon above came to my attention via Kissing Fish on Facebook. It is a nice addition to the collection of cartoon tributes to Leonard Nimoy on religious themes which I put together yesterday. IDIC is a Vulcan motto – and we can see it expressed on Star Trek in Spock’s adherence to logic while participating in [Read More…]

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Hurtado on Paul’s Messianic Jesus

Larry Hurtado shared a link to the above video of his 2014 lecture on Paul’s Messianism as a variant of ancient Jewish Messianism. [Read more…]

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Mythicism and the Teacher of Righteousness

A comment was left here recently by a mythicist, which asked why, if there was a historical Jesus, he (1) is mentioned for the first time by people other than his followers so much later, (2) none of his contemporaries took an interest in him, and (3) his biography seems pieced together out of parts of the [Read More…]

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