There was quite a bit of discussion a while back about whether the Muslim God and the Christian God are the “same God.” I had said a little about the topic in some posts written at that time. But now I want to explore some related questions in more detail, in response to a blog reader who contacted me (longer ago than I care to admit!) to ask me what I thought about certain matters. Here is the relevant part of what he… Read more

When this was shared on Facebook, the following question was posed in a comment: Did God banish Satan because he thought dinosaurs were better, or because Satan used poor grammar? While I could have just shared this bit of humor and been done with it, I actually feel I should follow with something a bit more serious, because there is something of a connection – indeed, a fairly direct one – with a topic that we discussed in my Sunday… Read more

The episode starts with doctors harvesting organs. We hear a snippet of talk radio about chemtrails, and then get to see a vampire hunter, who uses biblical and other Christian religious language, praying for mercy and crossing herself. In the Cathedral of the Sacraments in Washington DC, a priest speaks of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ, reading from John 6. Scully is attending the service when she gets a phone call. Mulder and Scully go to… Read more

April DeConick shared this information about a conference that is coming up very soon – in less than two weeks, in fact! Gnostic America Conference I am pleased to announce the Gnostic America Conference.  We will convene at Rice University on March 28-31.  The conference is free and open to the public.  We are exploring the afterlives of Gnosticism in America. In addition to cutting-edge paper presentations by 20 international scholars and graduate students, we have some spectacular special events… Read more

Recently, Adam Kotsko blogged about Star Trek and canon (a subject of ongoing interest of mine, as you are undoubtedly well aware). Here is an excerpt from there: I am a Star Trek fan, and I’m here today to talk to you about canon. But I will warn all the hardcore fans who are relieved to be on safe territory: my fandom has taken a strange form. When I was a kid, I was a loyal Next Generation viewer, and I even read a… Read more

Tom Gauld’s cartoon from The Guardian is about a topic that I have understandably long been fascinated by, given my joint interests in history (in particular that of early Christianity) and time travel. It struck me anew as the TV show TIMELESS returned to our screens, with two historians, mother and daughter, finding themselves aligned on opposite sides of a conflict that involves traveling into the past to not merely observe history, but seek to change it. If there is a… Read more

The Material of Christian Apocrypha University of Virginia November 30 to December 1, 2018 Confirmed speakers: Mary Cunningham (Nottingham), Maria Evangelatou (University of Southern California), Derek Krueger (UNC Greensboro), and Robin Jensen (Notre Dame) We invite abstracts for a conference on the “Material of Christian Apocrypha,” hosted by the University of Virginia’s Department of Religious Studies and McIntire Department of Art, under the auspices of the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature. We hope to assemble a group… Read more

I ended up not blogging right away about the week before last’s episode of The X-Files, not because it wasn’t engaging (it relates directly to a research area of mine, after all!) but because it had very little dialogue, and its one main point, while worth sharing, seemed too short a point to comment on in a blog post. But I’ve decided to return to the episode, for a number of reasons. The whole episode involves a range of fairly… Read more

Recently Brandon Hawk shared his thoughts on the Medieval manuscript prototypes for the insides of the Jedi sacred texts we see in “The Last Jedi” – with lots of photos of both! Here is an image of some sample pages from the Jedi scriptures: Steve Wiggins wrote about the significance of the appearance of sacred texts – in paper book form – in “The Last Jedi”: We’re never shown the inside of any of the books, but if the fact… Read more

The title of this X-Files episode, “Familiar,” is a perfect pun. The episode explores the idea of a witch’s familiar, but also the familiar unleashing of more mundane evil in small town America. The episode plays on the creepiness of characters in children’s television shows, at least when they are viewed from an adult perspective. Between that, the prospect of children being abducted and murdered, and the introduction of witchcraft, the episode focuses on some of the things that scare… Read more

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