#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...]

Doctor Who: Enlightenment

“Enlightenment” is the third and final episode in the Black Guardian trilogy, and another of my favorites from when I was younger. On the DVD release there is a second disc in which some of the special effects have been redone using CGI technology. The episode features godlike beings that had already been encountered on [Read More...]

Neil Godfrey on Paul-Louis Couchoud

Paul-Louis Couchoud has something in common with other mythicists: he was not a historian. But Couchoud also has something in common with the kinds of mythicists that could, at one point, be taken seriously: he died more than half a century ago. He thus formulated his ideas and wrote about them before the Dead Sea [Read More...]

Review of John Walton, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology

I am grateful to Eisenbrauns for sending me a free review copy of John H. Walton’s book Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology. This is the most recent of several books Walton has written which relate in some way to this topic. I wrote a multi-post review of Walton’s book The Lost World of Genesis One [Read More...]

Fundamentalism Meets Sci-Fi: Truth, Falsity and Fiction

The latest in Cake or Death’s series going through the A to Z of modern Christianity is “F” for fundamentalism. I assume the movie the DVD of which is being returned in the cartoon is supposed to be one of the “Planet of the Apes” movies. I’d like to suggest that the underlying reason why [Read More...]