An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson

In the latest issue of The Bible and Interpretation, Thomas L. Thompson offers a very odd rebuke to Bart Ehrman. Thompson mentions things like Philo's love of allegory and Qoheleth's assertion of our lack of novelty, as though these somehow will allow one to open the door to any and all interpretations of texts, including [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Underworld

The very title of the Doctor Who episode “Underworld” hints at its intersection with religion. But while the “underworld” in question turns out to be a world of tunnels with no access to the sky, the episode nevertheless more than lives up to the expectation that it will provide interesting terrain for exploring religion. Although [Read More...]

The Historical Jesus around the Blogosphere

There’s a lot of interesting stuff in the blogosphere in the past day or so related to topics of regular interest on this blog. Bart Ehrman offered a lengthy reply to Richard Carrier. Ehrman also did an interview at Religion Dispatches about his latest book, Did Jesus Exist? Thom Stark deals with Richard Carrier’s attempt [Read More...]

Letter from Ned Ludd to the Mythicists

This important historical document seems to me to be relevant to something mythicists often say, and so I thought I would share it… Dear mythicists, I, Ned Ludd, am writing to request that you kindly stop using my name as though it provided support for your nonsensical ideas. If you don’t, I expect that I [Read More...]

#CFP: Science-Fiction Myths: Travels through Time and Space – Due June 1, 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS “Science-Fiction Myths: Travels through Time and Space” An area of multiple panels for the Film & History Conference on “Film and Myth” September 26-30, 2012 Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA http://www.filmandhistory.org Deadline: June 1, 2012 Films that depict travel through time and space captivate us with tales of the past, the future, the distant, and [Read More...]

Nicholas of Myra Mythicism?

Jesus mythicism is akin to someone saying that because there is no Santa Claus, it makes the most sense to say that there wasn’t a historical bishop Nicholas of Myra. It seems as though some are afraid that if one concedes the existence of the historical figure, you are accommodating or leaving an open door [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Planet of Fire

With the episode “Planet of Fire,” Doctor Who revisits some classic tropes of religious skepticism. On a volcanic world inhabited by a people many of whom are devoutly religious, faith comes to the fore very early. But by the end of the episode, the central deity of their belief system, Logar, turns out to have [Read More...]

Dr. Seuss (and the Bible) for the Symbolism-Challenged

Sometimes people get into debates over whether something is literally true to be accepted without questioning however implausible, or false and therefore something only stupid people believe, not realizing that both are perhaps missing the point of the stories. And so for those whose ability to grasp symbolism and appreciate myth is poor, here are [Read More...]

Nerds Reconsidering Star Wars Religion

A recent article in Tablet Magazine challenges the religious message of Star Wars in interesting ways (HT The Lead and Religion Nerd). On the one hand, the article makes some good points about the superficiality of some Star Wars spirituality, or the attempt to let “following one’s bliss” be a guide to life. Yet on [Read More...]

Paul Mythicism?

There certainly are those Jesus mythicists who would also deny that there was a historical Paul. But for many mythicists, perhaps the majority, the historicity of Paul and the authenticity of Paul’s letters is in fact important to their argument, since their case for mythicism focuses much attention on what Paul allegedly did not say [Read More...]

Mythicism as Conspiracy Theory

That’s the title of an article in Slate by Evgeny Morozov, and there are a couple of quotes in which a simple substitution can be made so that they apply equally well to creationists, mythicists, and other denialists. Here’s an example: “In other words, mere exposure to the current state of the scientific historical consensus [Read More...]


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