By the Company

The phrase in the meme – “You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep working for” – is inspired by a similar quip shared by Horace Jeffery Hodges on the blog Gypsy Scholarship. I really loved the way his mind worked, starting with the phrase “you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep” and then seeing how a sting could be added to its tail by continuing the sentence. In making the meme, I… Read more

Revealing Lost Texts Through Tech at #AARSBL17

I am delighted to circulate the poster below, to help spread the word about an exciting session at AAR/SBL this year, with a strong digital humanities focus, and co-sponsored by several program units within both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature: This promises to be a fantastic session as far as the content is concerned – it will cover aspects of the technology used to recover texts that have been erased from reused parchment and other… Read more

The Federation vs. the Borg

I made a Star Trek reference at last night’s public lecture, in response to a question about whether it was self-defeating or self-contradictory to be intolerant of intolerance. But not wanting to lose an audience that might or might not have appreciated the analogy, I held back, and in the end I didn’t feel that I made the point as clearly as I could have, and perhaps should have. But there is always the possibility of expanding on the point… Read more

Octavia Butler #CFP

Via ReligionCFP: The fiction of Octavia E. Butler has fired the imaginations of academics and activists alike. Quite often, however, these communities are walled off from one another. Butler’s explorations of the environment, sexuality, race, politics, and many other topics have established her legacy as a revolutionary, and her influence cannot be contained by the traditional categories and boundaries in which knowledge is typically organized. Her work is too vital to be put into any kind of box. For our… Read more


Have you heard about the #GIFBible? If not, you should check it out on Twitter. Here is a sample: While Deborah was Judge, Jael killed the opposing general with a tent peg to the head. #gifbible — David Hansen (@rev_david) March 25, 2017 What “perfect pairings” of GIFs and Bible verses have you seen, or can you come up with yourselves? Of related interest, with a fantastic pun, there’s this post with the title “Emoji Dei”: Emoji Dei: Religious Iconography… Read more

Hurricanes and Divine Wrath

One can understand the inclination to think of hurricanes as expressions of anger. Even the metaphors we use – furious howling winds, lashing rain, and so on – draw from such imagery. But there are problems with attempting to take this view literally, especially in light of our meteorological understanding of climate, weather, and storms, but even just in terms of the way God ends up being thought of when one views God as attacking sinners with a scattergun that… Read more

here there

I had the privilege of hearing the above piece by Ingrid Stölzel at a recital given by Ascending Duo some time back. You can hear more of Stölzel’s music on her Soundcloud page. The program at that performance also included “What I Heard” by Bryce Fuhrman.   Read more

#CFP : Syriac and its Users in the Early Modern World, c.1500-c.1750

CALL FOR PAPERS: Syriac and its Users in the Early Modern World, c.1500-c.1750 A workshop at the University of Oxford, 15-16 March 2018* The vast majority of scholarship on Syriac has focused on Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Yet Syriac continued to be used, as a liturgical, literary and living language, across the early modern period and beyond. Guides to Syriac literature sometimes give the impression that new textual production had effectively ceased by 1500. But new texts did… Read more

Dots, Marginalia and Peritexts in Middle Eastern Manuscripts Workshop

Dots, Marginalia and Peritexts in Middle Eastern Manuscripts Workshop Venue Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Date June 11–12, 2018 Conveners Sabine Schmidtke and George A. Kiraz (Institute for Advanced Study) Manuscripts often contain far more material than the words that form their primary texts: dots and various other symbols that mark vowels (in the case of Semitic languages), intonation, readings aids, and other textual markers; marginal notes and sigla and interlinear annotations that provide additional explanatory content akin to but… Read more

Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet

The Pirate Planet is not an episode that only die hard Doctor Who fans should watch. Written by Douglas Adams, this second episode in the Key to Time sequence is full of the humor one would expect if one is familiar with his other writing. It features not only the robot dog that you have already come to know and love, but also a robot parrot, and robotic dog and parrot facing off against one another. But it also has the quite… Read more

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