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...]

Speaking about Religion

I am teaching a class this semester which focuses on speaking about religion. It will focus on integrating (1) effective communication, (2) the skills that pertain to finding accurate information about religion, and (3) navigating the controversies about religion in the present day. The “readings” for the course will all be recordings of people speaking. And I [Read More...]

Freedom of Religion Panel Discussion

A few weeks ago, I was part of a panel discussion on the topic of freedom of religion at Butler University. It was recorded, and even though the sound quality is not excellent, I still think it may be worth sharing. [Read more...]

Wanting a Religious State

From Could Be Worse’s 2-Panel Tales [Read more...]

Initiation into the Mysteries

Jim Spinti drew attention to a new book by Jan Bremmer, Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World, published by De Gruyter and open access in ebook form. The books discusses the problems with the categories encountered in nineteenth century scholarship (which continues to be used by mythicists today), and covers topics such as whether [Read More...]

Entangled Religions

Ancient World Online (AWOL) shared news about a very interesting new open access journal: Entangled Religions. Here is the description: Entangled Religions: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer Entangled Religions (ER) is a peer reviewed online periodical that complements the book series “Dynamics in the History of Religions” (DHR) published with Brill.Entangled Religions is [Read More...]

New Blog

I am grateful to Tavis Bohlinger for drawing attention to the fact that the University of Durham Department of Theology and Religion has a new blog. The address is: https://durhamabbeyhouse.wordpress.com/ This will definitely be worth keeping an eye on!   [Read more...]

What Star Wars Means

George Lucas talks briefly about what Star Wars means - its roots in mythology, religion, psychology, compassion, and human storytelling. HT IO9. [Read more...]

The Jedi Jesus

IO9 featured some Star Wars fan theories from 1980. It is interesting to see the role that religion played in some of them. A popular theory was that Obi-Wan was a clone name – O.B.1. One person suggested that Obi-Wan Kenobi was a thousand years removed from “O.B.” who was “the Jesus” of the Jedi [Read More...]

Dog Religion, Cat Religion

I laughed when I saw this meme, but I immediately also began to wonder whether it might not also lead to serious reflection. Are there religions which focus primarily outward, and others which focus primarily on the self? If so, would “dog religion” and “cat religion” be convenient shorthand for the distinction?   [Read more...]

Doctor Who and Religion Lecture

The folks at Ole Miss recorded the lecture I gave on Religion and Doctor Who, and have kindly shared it on their YouTube channel. The audio isn’t great, and the very beginning is missing, but for those interested in the topic, it will hopefully still be interesting and enjoyable!   [Read more...]


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