The History of D&D (and G&G)

Rise of the Dungeon Master is above all else a history of Dungeons and Dragons in graphic novel/comic book form. But it is also a biography of Gary Gygax, and includes important moments in the history of Gen Con – although I am shocked that it did not mention Indianapolis! The book includes the true story behind the anti-D&D movement that was part of the broader “satanic panic” in the 1980s. The ending will surprise many people – but I won’t give spoilers... Read more

Lawnmower Man and the Bible

The image of the man in Canada who was unphased by a tornado nearby while mowing the lawn went viral online in June. Only now, after some time has passed, did it dawn on me to connect it with the way I once thought of updating Jesus’ words in Luke 9:62. I’ve heard it said that if someone seeks to plow while regularly looking backwards, they will end up with crooked plow lines. The same presumably goes for mowing. If the point... Read more

Heroes of the Bible

I recently learned of the existence of a “Heroes of the Bible” expansion for the game Mare Nostrum: Empires by Academy Games. There is more information on the Academy Games website, as well as Board Game Geek. Have any of you played this game, whether the Bible form or any other? The inclusion of Bible characters seems interesting but also odd, when I look at what the Bible characters’s characteristics are within the game. The website includes the following information: The... Read more

Dystopian Calls for Papers

Two calls for papers came to my attention recently, and so I thought I would share them here together, since the first one’s theme (covering dystopian fiction) is also a major subset of the second one’s subject area (young adult fiction): (UN)ETHICAL FUTURES: UTOPIA, DYSTOPIA AND SCIENCE FICTION 16 & 17 December 2017 With pre-conference activities for postgraduate students on 15 December 2017 Hosted by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia Organised by Monash University and the University of Warwick with... Read more

Games about the Ancient World

As I gear up to present Canon: The Card Game to game companies at Gen Con in August, I’ve been looking up more information about a variety of companies. If you have played Canon and have suggestions about companies that you think would be a good fit, please do let me know! One company that came to my attention during this process unfortunately does not have a booth at Gen Con: GMT Games, which specializes in historical reenactment military games. One of... Read more

New Canon Deck Available: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

A while back, Jim Davila asked whether the card game included certain extracanonical Jewish texts, and I told him that if he gave me a list, I could make a deck with whatever works he wishes. Some of the ones he mentioned were already in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible deck, and so he substituted a few others. The new deck includes 2 Enoch, Apocalypse of Abraham, the Book of Giants, Ahiqar, and more. You can purchase it here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/canon:-the-card-game-old-testament-pseudepigrapha-edition- I have... Read more

Many Jesuses?

There isn’t really debate about the plural of “Jesus.” If it were Latin, then perhaps “Jesi” would be appropriate. But as the Anglicized rendering of the Greek form of a Semitic name, it is better to go with “Jesuses.” I have yet to even begin watching the TV series American Gods, but I gather that it has had multiple Jesuses too. Here, however, I want to talk about the widespread mythicist claim that somehow the various things that people have said... Read more

Frode Fjellheim

I want to share some incredible music by Norwegian composer Frode Fjellheim. Here is “Psalm”: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlK149_PB8o[/youtube] And here is his “Pater Noster”: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifYjYaU1HOE[/youtube]

Iesus Deus

I have been meaning to blog for a while about David Litwa’s book Iesus Deus.  It offers a compelling case for acknowledging that Judaism’s distinctive emphasis on exclusive worship did not exclude the possibility of other figures being “divinized.” Here are some quotes and excerpts, to whet your appetite (since I read the book on my Kindle, I don’t have page numbers): My argument asserts not that early Christians borrowed their divine christology from Hellenistic theology, but that certain conceptions of deity... Read more

Homo Deus

In his book Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari writes, “Despite all the talk of radical Islam and Christian fundamentalism, the most interesting place in the world from a religious perspective is not the Islamic State or the Bible Belt, but Silicon Valley. That’s where hi-tech gurus are brewing for us brave new religions that have little to do with God, and everything to do with technology. They promise all the old prizes – happiness, peace, prosperity and even eternal life –... Read more
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