I want to draw attention to the day conference at Fordham University in New York City, which I am unfortunately unable to attend, focused on the theme of the volume in which my first science fiction short story was published: Touching the Face of the Cosmos. Here are the details from the Eventbrite site: DESCRIPTION: TOUCHING THE FACE OF THE COSMOS “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet” – Stephen Hawking, 1942-2018 A one-day series of… Read more

I seized the opportunity afforded by the Popular Culture Association conference being in Indianapolis this year to attend the conference for the first time, and in fact presented a paper. Doing so was a fantastic experience – but also gave me a greater appreciation for the AAR/SBL annual meeting, which is much larger and is better organized in certain key respects. For one thing, the conference app was not available as far in advance as would have been ideal, making… Read more

I wasn’t sure whether I’d end up blogging about the live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC before watching it. But numerous people took to Facebook to comment on it, asking who else was watching. One was a former student, Jill Howard, who specifically said she’d be looking for a blog post with my thoughts and comments about it in relation to the historical Jesus. Another was fellow New Testament scholar Mark Goodacre, whose Facebook post became a lively… Read more

I am long overdue to blog about Daniel Smith’s book Revisiting the Empty Tomb. The delay is largely due to the fact that it seemed as though I ought to blog about it sometime around Easter, and each year since 2010 when the book came out, I missed the window of opportunity – and then unwisely postponed the undertaking, thinking that I would do better the following year. Smith’s book explores the possibility that there are two separate strands of… Read more

The subject of Jesus’ burial is one that most readers of this blog know interests me. Hopefully you also know that my little book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have To Do With Faith?  is not just about the burial of Jesus, but engages specifically with the historical questions related to the rise of belief in the resurrection, and the inability of myself and anyone else in our time to use historical tools to decisively pronounce about “what really happened”… Read more

The crucifixion of Jesus makes perfect sense as an expression of the wrath of the Romans against Jesus. But it is not at all self-evident as an expression of the wrath of God against Jesus, even if a wrath purportedly aimed at us which Jesus stepped in front of. Crucifixion was too common an occurrence in Jesus’ time for one particular crucifixion to stand out as indicating this, without some substantial commentary and interpretative interventions. The fact that most of us have never witnessed… Read more

The new movie Mary Magdalene is one that I’m going to need to see at some point. But some of the things I’ve read and heard do not encourage me to rush to do so. Larry Hurtado, for instance, blogged about the movie and writes: It ought to be difficult to make stories as riveting as those in the Gospels bland and uninteresting. But the Hollywood record largely shows them fully up to the task, and, sadly, this film is… Read more

Below are a bunch of calls for papers that have come to my attention, all intersecting around science fiction in a variety of interesting ways. Before moving on to those, let me share a link to a recent discussion of science fiction from an academic perspective online, since that nicely sets the stage for thinking about conferences that will broach these topics. The “Academic Minute” portion of Inside Higher Ed focused on the bicentennial anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which is… Read more

I had someone’s meme drawn to my attention on Facebook. It was this: It was already annoying and problematic just in its complete ignoring of whether this thing that they consider to be “what the Bible says” about family is “natural.” Surely lots of things are “natural” but not “biblical” even within a fundamentalist patriarchal view of marriage, no? At any rate, between that and the ignoring of all the inconvenient material within the Bible that shows marriages involving polygamy… Read more

A friend of mine noticed that I mentioned in passing that I hold to a panentheistic view of God, and asked for more information. And so I thought I would share some things that I have already written on the topic. It turned out that there were several such relevant posts, most from many years ago, and so I decided to quote what I think are particularly interesting bits here, with links to the original posts for my friend and… Read more

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