Mandaeans in the News

Thanks to Jim West for drawing attention to an article in the Tuscaloosa News about the Mandaeans and the humanitarian crisis they face. The Mandaeans do not accept converts, their numbers are dwindling, and they are being scattered as refugees and immigrants to various parts of the world. Without converts and without a community of [Read More…]

Conference Papers (SBL 2008)

I’ve finally gotten around to converting my conference papers from this year into pdf files and making them available online. Here are the links: Mandaean Polemic Mark’s Missing Ending Feedback is always appreciated! Let me know if for some reason a link doesn’t work. [Read more…]

Marmoset Song/Me Ears Are Alight

My sister sent me a link to this video, and I think many readers may appreciate the way it illustrates how communication can go wrong (admittedly not always with such amusing results)… It reminded me of a commercial from a while back that made the same point using different song lyrics (which I wasn’t too [Read More…]

Prophecies about Obama?

[NOTE: In sharing the text of the unsolicited e-mail below, I did not expect so many to find this post via search engines and potentially miss the broader context of discussion on this blog. For those interested in this topic, I would like to also strongly recommend that you read my post on how I [Read More…]

Thank God For The Evolutionary Times

Michael Dowd and Connie Barlow, responsible for the book Thank God For Evolution, have now begun a newsletter called The Evolutionary Times. In related news, the Clergy Letter Project now has its own YouTube channel. And the latest Global Spiral is out from Metanexus, including articles on subjects like Christian physicalism and post-metaphysical theology, as [Read More…]


Here are members of the Butler Children Orchestra and the League of Extraordinary Musicians performing “Mythos” by Soon Hee Newbold, in a concert I missed the Saturday I was away at SBL: [Read more…]

Weird Beliefs

I had a very interesting conversation at SBL with an old friend and a friend of that friend. I entered the conversation (already in progress) with an abrupt question (from the friend’s friend) about whether I thought the Bible was “the Word of God uniquely revealed” (or something to that effect). As I tried to [Read More…]

Quote of the Day (George E. Vaillant)

“Ideologue Ralph Nader’s bestseller Unsafe at Any Speed raised consciousness about the very real dangers of the automobile; ideologue Richard Dawkins’s bestseller The God Delusion raises our consciousness about the very real dangers of religious dogma. Religion, like the automobile, may lead to tens of thousands of pointless deaths every year. Religions, however, are even [Read More…]

Twilight of the Hancocks

Tonight I finally got to see the movie Hancock. I wish I had been able to be among the earliest viewers of the movie, to be truly and completely caught off guard when Charlize Theron’s character reveals her power and throws Will Smith’s through the wall, together with the fridge. Even so, it was a [Read More…]

The Only True Book Cover

One of the surprises waiting for me when I got back from SBL was that the cover design for my forthcoming book The Only True God: Early Christian Monotheism in Its Jewish Contexthad been finished. Here’s what it is going to look like: The fireworks on the cover are not, to my knowledge, intended to [Read More…]