September 13, 2018

From the recent article by Dr. Gregg Gardner on biblical gleaning laws and the subsequent interpretation of them in rabbinic tradition: Although the agricultural allocations to the poor share some characteristics with charity, they function differently. Charity is a positive duty whose underlying premise is that it comes from one’s own personal property and the benefactor exercises some discretion over what is given and how. Thus, in their discussion of charity, the rabbis do not specify the time or place… Read more

September 12, 2018

I think this is going to be the rhythm of my weekly blogging for the foreseeable future – on Tuesdays a new ReligionProf podcast will appear, and on Wednesdays I will add additional comments, links, and other materials in a blog post to go along with that new podcast. In this week’s episode, I was delighted to have a chance to chat with Kimberly Winston, a journalist that I had spoken to previously about the topic of religion and science… Read more

September 11, 2018

In pulling together the various quotes and links in my recent post about activism among theologians and academics, I also found a number of connections with the teaching side of what academics do. What Paulo Freire highlighted in relation to the classroom (50 years ago this year!) applies all the more to academic research: if one can still sometimes encounter banking-style distribution of tidbits of information in a classroom, research by definition is about problem solving and thus about changing the world… Read more

September 10, 2018

This blog post was sparked by a question raised in a post on the blog Red Letter Christians: Why don’t more of us study and think of theological giants like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his chief of staff, the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, as theologians? Social justice luminaries such as King and Walker are somehow viewed only as activists or civil rights leaders — but not as theologians. This is problematic. I agree. The stereotype of the… Read more

September 8, 2018

The usual way for discussion of the Bible as “inspired,” “infallible,” or “inerrant” to proceed is for conservative theologians to decide in advance what those terms mean, assume or argue a priori that they apply to the Bible, and then shoehorn the Bible into the box. That this is inappropriate at best, and an attack on and distortion of the Bible at worst, rarely gets mentioned. So I appreciated the post on the blog Euangelion about Amos Yong’s effort to… Read more

September 8, 2018

A number of blog posts and articles have converged on aspects of Evangelical culture and identity in ways that I think it will be useful to bring into conversation with one another. The post that got me thinking about these connections is about “Hobby Lobby Evangelicalism” and consists mostly of an ethnographic account of visiting the store. Here’s a quote from the post that particularly jumped out at me: George Marsden once defined evangelicalism as “anyone who likes Billy Graham.”… Read more

September 7, 2018

I had a chance to speak with Mary Milz of WTHR News yesterday about local matters that connect with national and global ones and which are about to get more attention today. You can read a couple of brief snippets from me in the article that I was interviewed for. But I thought I would share the other thoughts that didn’t make it into the brief news clip on this topic. Two topics involving the Catholic Church and its teachings… Read more

September 6, 2018

Having invented a game called Canon: The Card Game, I’m inevitably going to keep returning to the subject of canon over and over again. But as you’ll see below, interesting images, books, articles, videos, and calls for papers keep highlighting the subject and calling me back to it. And in this particular instance, it isn’t just canon in general but precisely the intersection of the canons of Star Wars and Christianity that have been prominent. First, Joel Hingston made and… Read more

September 5, 2018

In the second episode of the new ReligionProf Podcast, I sit down with my friend and colleague Ankur Gupta to talk about our Artificial Wisdom project. This ends up being a two-parter, since there is so much that is worth talking about at the intersection of computer science, ethics, religion, and science fiction. We are both clearly really excited about the work we’ve been doing so far and where this is headed! I have been collecting links related to this… Read more

September 4, 2018

The ETC Blog is one of countless outlets that have talked about the terrible fire at the Brazil National Museum. Few give thought to the precariousness of such treasure troves of historical knowledge. Even those of us who do family history research, and worry about the possibility that a fire in our own home might destroy forever some unique photo of or document from or about an ancestor, put out of our mind the thought of something like that happening… Read more

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