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...]

Talk Gnosis Interview about the Mandaeans

The video above is the first part of an interview I did for the online podcast series Talk Gnosis. In a couple of days, they will release the second part which is for subscribers only. Click through for more details about how to become a subscriber, and let me know what you think of the [Read More...]

Sabbatitude

Most of you will be aware that I was on sabbatical last semester. My department administrator used the term “sabbatitude” at some point early in the semester, and I liked the term, and so I thought I would use it in the title of this post, since every blogger who gets a sabbatical inevitably must [Read More...]

Bordering Others: Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity #aarsbl15 Sunday Afternoon Session

The first paper in the TELA session on the theme “Bordering Others: Examining Religious Community in Eastern Late Antiquity” was by Jennifer Hart and focused in using orthopraxy to define “true” Mandaeism. She began with a quote from the work The Thousand and Twelve Questions, which is focused on ritual error and what to do [Read More...]

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...]

Mandaean Contributions to Islamic Civilization

I received word about the new book series below, and wanted to share it here, since it explicitly mentions the Mandaeans! New book series: Edinburgh University Press Non-Muslim contributions to Islamic civilisation Series editors: Professor Carole Hillenbrand and Dr Myriam Wissa Non-Muslim contributions to Islamic civilisation is a new edited series which deviates from the [Read More...]

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...]

Baptism for the Dead: Paul and the Mandaeans

A student who gave a presentation on the Mandaeans in my “Heresy” class used the phrase “baptism for the dead” to describe the masiqta – more frequently translated as “mass for the dead” or something similar in English. The masiqta proper, of course, is a ritual meal which takes after someone has died, and not an [Read More...]

John the Baptist’s Bones, Serapion, and the Mandaeans

As a result of the episode of the CNN series Finding Jesus which focused on John the Baptist, significant attention is being paid to bones which are supposedly his, and genetic testing of which has suggested they belong to a first-century Middle Eastern man. See  Tony Burke’s earlier post about Serapion’s “Life of John the Baptist” and [Read More...]

Gnostic Survivors: 2015 David Noel Freedman Lecture

If any readers are in the vicinity of Ann Arbor, Michigan, I’ll be speaking at the University of Michigan tomorrow evening on the subject of the Mandaeans. Here’s the blurb from the University of Michigan website: 2015 David Noel Freedman Lecture Gnostic Survivors: the Mandeans in their relations with Judaism, Christianity and Islam The 20th [Read More...]

Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity AAR Call for Papers 2015

Here’s the Call for Papers for the Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity AAR sessions for the 2015 Annual Meeting. For the AAR meeting in Atlanta, November 2015, we are planning the following sessions: 1) A panel will review Shai Secunda’s new book, The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in its Sasanian Context (U Penn, 2014). The [Read More...]


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