August 29, 2018

I’ve long wanted to become a more regular consumer of podcasts. But more than that, I’ve wanted to start making my own podcasts. Every time I’ve done a guest appearance on one, I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I also enjoy listening to those that others have created. And so I finally took the plunge now that Butler University has its very own sound booth optimized for this purpose! I am honored to have been given the chance to try it out… Read more

August 28, 2018

My friend and colleague Ankur Gupta made the punny comment that “The only thing a flat-Earther has to fear is sphere itself.” I immediately knew I wanted to turn it into a meme and share it. The logo is one that appears on a t-shirt that I saw at Gen Con, which you can also buy online from Amazon.   Of related interest, several news outlets have commented on the way that Mike Pence has been injecting religious rhetoric into… Read more

August 27, 2018

Samantha Field shared some insightful, important, and powerful thoughts about the language that conservative Evangelicals use about racism and other social issues as being a “sin issue” and a “problem of the heart.” Here’s a lengthy excerpt: Maybe like me you’ve noticed a pattern of influential Christian ministers referring to racism or sexism as a “heart issue,” and found it as frustrating as I do. Framing racism or other systemic social problems as a “heart issue” accomplishes a few things…. Read more

August 26, 2018

Following up on yesterday’s post, there were further topics that Matthew Ferguson explored about ancient biographies of a popular sort and questions of historical accuracy. One of the major points that he highlights is that historical accuracy of details is not a reliable guide to genre. That point may seem counterintuitive, but modern examples will help the point become clear. If you read Little Women, or watch the TV show Little House on the Prairie, there are lots of details… Read more

August 25, 2018

Teaching a class on the historical Jesus, I am revisiting posts from as much as a couple of years ago that I have long meant to highlight or discuss, which relate to this topic. One of these is Paul Davidson’s post about the “Sea of Galilee” in the Gospel of Mark, and the fact that that work may well be the first work to have referred to the lake by this odd choice of name. Here’s how the blog post… Read more

August 24, 2018

The day before yesterday was the first day of classes at Butler University. My son and I both rode our bicycles to campus. Not realizing that it had rained the night before, I didn’t recognize the need to warn against taking the route that runs along the canal between a major road we take and the university campus. We both reached campus spattered with mud as a result. I seriously considered going to the first meeting of my class on… Read more

August 23, 2018

This should be of interest to readers of my blog within driving distance of Butler University. As you’ll recall, last year I was involved in this series focused on the theme for the year of “Religion, Refugees, and Migration.” This year the series will be coordinated by my colleague Brent Hege. Here are more details, courtesy of our Center for Faith and Vocation: Dear friends and community partners, The Butler University Center for Faith and Vocation would like to invite… Read more

August 22, 2018

ARAM Society has changed the dates for two of its conferences next July, one on Gnosticism in general in the Near East, the other more specifically on Mandaeism. Here are the updated details: The Gnostics of the Ancient Near East, 15th– 16th July 2019 (University of Oxford) ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Fifty First International Conference on the theme of The Gnostics of the Ancient Near East, to be held at the Oriental Institute, the University of… Read more

August 21, 2018

In a recent blog post, Pete Enns wrote: Not all biblical writers were on the same page when it came to describing what God is like and what it means to believe in this God. And the reason why we see these differences is because—just like every other human—biblical writers lived in different times and places, under different circumstances, asking different questions and seeking different answers. To put it another way, their life experiences led them to think of God… Read more

August 20, 2018

Philosophy and Culture Division Call For Proposals: Sessions, Panels, Papers POPULAR CULTURE ASSOCIATION & AMERICAN CULTURE ASSOCIATION 2019 JOINT NATIONAL CONFERENCE Wardman Park Marriot, Washington, D.C. Wednesday, April 17, to Saturday, April 20, 2019 For information, please go to DEADLINE: OCTOBER 1, 2018 We are considering proposals for sessions organized around a theme, special panels, and/or individual papers. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per session. Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes…. Read more

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