October 8, 2018

Now that I have seen the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who, starring Jodie Whittaker in the leading role, I am puzzled by the New York Times review yesterday, which claimed (towards the end of the article) to detect a fundamental change of pace compared with past seasons. I didn’t sense that – although it certainly did lack some of the Steven Moffatt franticness. More importantly, I must say that I was frankly astonished by how quickly Jodie Whittaker… Read more

October 7, 2018

Let’s be honest. If I keep having ideas for books that I should write, I’ll either be one of those people who finally well into retirement writes books that they’ve been promising/hoping to for decades, or I’ll never write many of them. Either way, maybe it is OK. But serving as supervisor for a student’s research on Christianity and feminism and how the two relate (or are at a disconnect or even at odds with one another) when it comes… Read more

October 6, 2018

Via Tony Burke’s NASSCAL blog, I learned of the Material of Christian Apocrypha conference and its website. Here are some of the details about this upcoming conference: 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, this conference assembles a group of participants who will address two interrelated yet distinct topics: 1) the physicality of our apocryphal texts (i.e…. Read more

October 5, 2018

There is another call for papers that many of you will find as exciting as I do! It focuses on resistance as a theme in Star Wars, with particular focus on the most recent sequels and their relationship to the earlier movies. Here’s an excerpt from the call for papers: Throughout the original trilogy, the prequels, and most recently the sequels, the films have focused on the struggle between Imperial forces and rebellious fighters who seek to throw off the… Read more

October 4, 2018

Thanks to Matt Brake for drawing this call for papers to my attention: The Department of Popular Culture and the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio are proud to announce the Batman in Popular Culture Conference on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Batman in Popular Culture conference aims to examine Batman in Popular Culture in all mediums and media. It is intended to serve as a space for academics,… Read more

October 3, 2018

I am delighted to have Becky Archibald as a guest on my podcast this week. Becky is a well-known pianist and composer, whose music I was familiar with even before I had the privilege of meeting her in the context of the “Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts” program run by Rabbi Sandi Sasso. This program brings artists together to learn and talk about biblical texts and explore the use of them as a springboard to their own creative activity. You… Read more

October 2, 2018

I had a walk through the Museum of the Bible for a few hours this past Friday, and went in with the intention of sharing my impressions here on the blog – with lots of photos for you to see a little of what I saw, as well as to contextualize and illustrate the things that I say here. I received a voucher for a free ticket from a friend before my trip, which was very kind. I went in… Read more

October 1, 2018

I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the first ever ΘeoCon (pronounced “TheoCon” but spelled with the Greek theta just to make certain that no one thinks this has something to do with the other usage that readers of this blog may have encountered). The sub-heading on posters for ΘeoCon says “Where Theology and Popular Culture Meet,” and that was certainly an accurate description. The event started off with African dancing. It featured speakers of a variety… Read more

September 30, 2018

I really like this thought from the late Kim Fabricius: Information is power. Alas, so too is misinformation. It’s one of the things that I focused on when I taught a Speaking Across the Curriculum course at Butler University on religious rhetoric and communication, and it is something that I continue to focus on in many other contexts. The truth can be conveyed in ways that are uncompelling, and falsehood can be presented in ways that are persuasive. And so… Read more

September 29, 2018

New Scientist shared the results of a survey of the public which indicates that most people would not choose to live forever. This raises interesting questions for the future of conservative Christianity, which for an extremely long time has been cultivating a focus on eternal life as the thing it can offer to attract people. What happens if we reach a point in the future at which human beings, for the most part, do not view immortality as something attractive… Read more

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