Recently Brandon Hawk shared his thoughts on the Medieval manuscript prototypes for the insides of the Jedi sacred texts we see in “The Last Jedi” – with lots of photos of both! Here is an image of some sample pages from the Jedi scriptures: Steve Wiggins wrote about the significance of the appearance of sacred texts – in paper book form – in “The Last Jedi”: We’re never shown the inside of any of the books, but if the fact… Read more

The title of this X-Files episode, “Familiar,” is a perfect pun. The episode explores the idea of a witch’s familiar, but also the familiar unleashing of more mundane evil in small town America. The episode plays on the creepiness of characters in children’s television shows, at least when they are viewed from an adult perspective. Between that, the prospect of children being abducted and murdered, and the introduction of witchcraft, the episode focuses on some of the things that scare… Read more

It is long overdue for me to highlight this particular publishing opportunity for undergraduates. If there is something that my own institution does well, it is undergraduate research. In addition to having vibrant programs in fields such as psychology in which undergraduates work with faculty on research that leads to conference presentations and publications even while they are still undergrads, we also have other programs such as the Butler Summer Institute, an opportunity to work with a faculty supervisor during… Read more

I love teaching my course on the Bible and music! In the class period dedicated to the Exodus, we ranged through so many subjects, across thousands of years. We started off in Exodus 15, thinking about the “Song of the Sea” and the way music was used in times before widespread literacy and writing technology to convey information and pass it on from one generation to the next. (Schoolhouse Rock got a shout-out in that context). It is quite possible… Read more

I am delighted to be able to share information about this upcoming event at Butler University. You can find a poster of the above image in pdf form online on the Congregation Beth El-Zedeck website. Here are some additional details taken from the blurbs and other publicity materials you can find online about the event: “Jesus the Jewish Storyteller: Of Pearls and Prodigals” Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. in the Reilly Room in Atherton Union, Butler University Storytelling is… Read more

I have been meaning to blog about this topic ever since Hemant Mehta pointed out that there were young-earth creationists who were mocking flat-earthers for taking the Bible too literally. That hypocrisy continues, as Answers in Genesis just recently posted an article which says the following: Detractors of the Bible might point to passages like Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7:1, and Revelation 20:8 to claim that the Bible teaches a flat earth. But the phrase, “the four corners of the earth,” must be interpreted within its… Read more

Most readers of this blog will know that in March I stepped into an administrative role as Faculty Director of the Core Curriculum at Butler University. Even before that time – but much more since – I have been giving a lot of thought to something that most faculty know, but many students seem not to. The core curriculum at institutions with a strong liberal arts focus is not something unrelated to one’s major and one’s reasons for being at university, but… Read more

Kerry Connelly writes: One of the things that’s most surprising about my seminary journey is the way my faith is being deconstructed. To be honest, sometimes it feels as if God is dying, and perhaps this is true. What I mean is this: old, tired ways of thinking about God, and even more important, the boundaries we as humans love to put around God, are crashing down around me. I am more and more convinced that the desire to be… Read more

Somehow if one Googles “piccolo” the top result will tell you that “Piccolo is a very tall and muscular Namekian…” For those interested in the musical instrument, some results along those lines do also follow shortly after. There is in fact a lot of really wonderful music for piccolo. One example is Daniel Dorff’s “Sonatine de Giverny”: Another is Michael Daugherty’s “The High and the Mighty”: And here’s Willard Elliot’s “Fantasy for Piccolo and Piano”: All of the above pieces… Read more

Anyone who has learned a language has worked with vocabulary lists. Sometimes these are provided in a textbook, chapter by chapter and/or in an appendix. Sometimes these are handwritten and carried around in our pockets for convenience of review in between time spent with printed materials, as we seek to learn new vocabulary. Students of ancient languages will also be familiar with publications that list books by frequency, something that it is harder to produce for a living language in… Read more

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