Is Science Fiction Prophecy? Is Prophecy Science Fiction?

One of the questions I posed in my class on religion and science fiction last fall was about the relationship between prophecy and sci-fi. The key question is whether predicting the future and getting it right is the point of these two genres. On the one hand, if Jesus predicted the end of history and [Read More…]

Doctor Who: World Enough and Time

SPOILERS AHEAD! The episode begins with the Doctor exiting the TARDIS on a frozen landscape and beginning to regenerate, and shouting “No!” That’s certainly a dramatic way to lead into the first part of a season finale! After the credits, we see a 400-mile space ship trying to reverse away from a black hole. The [Read More…]

The Handmaid’s Tale

I watched the first couple of episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale miniseries. It does a good job of moving Margaret Atwood’s story into the present day, and of exploring the inner life of Offred’s thinking. The story explores a world in which biblical fundamentalism is used to justify coping with rampant infertility by turning fertile women [Read More…]

Digital Humanist Wanted

This job announcement came to my attention via the NASCAS e-mail list, and I thought it worth sharing here. The Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is seeking a Digital Humanist (f/m; 50%) with experience in XML-technologies and the development of language corpora. You will join an internationally networked team, pursuing [Read More…]

The God Who Cannot Be Defined In Words

Richard Beck shared this quote from St. Columban, and it immediately struck me as memeworthy. Since Columban was using words to instruct in the very act of writing this, we are protected from going to an extreme to which the one who wrote these words would not have wished. In their broader context, the emphasis is [Read More…]

The Cave

The above piece by Steve Reich takes its inspiration from the shared sacred site marking the burial place of Abraham. It is one of the sites in the Holy Land that made the biggest impression on me. On the one hand, Hebron today is a place of serious tensions. Visiting, one sees Palestinian homes from which [Read More…]


Please find below a call for participants and papers for ReLACS 2017 (Regional Late Antiquity Consortium Southeast) to be held on October 19-20, 2017. ReLACS, now in its fifth year, is a annual workshop of scholars of Late Antiquity held on a rotating basis at Vanderbilt University, the University of Tennessee, and the University of [Read More…]

Cherry-Picking from the Bible: Lessons Learned from Actually Picking Cherries

I had used the phrase “cherry-picking” plenty of times, metaphorically, in relation to the Bible. But I had never literally picked cherries. However, a few years ago we planted a cherry tree in our yard, and just recently I had the opportunity to pick cherries for the first time in my life. And so here are a few things [Read More…]

Doctor Who: The Eaters of Light

The story begins at Devil’s Cairn in Scotland, with a girl who wants to listen for music, and a boy who says it is ghosts who may drag her to hell. On a stone cairn nearby, we see the TARDIS carved. The Doctor, Bill, and Nardole go back to the 2nd century looking for the [Read More…]

Does Ecclesiastes Deny The Afterlife?

I received an e-mail about an older blog post of mine that I linked to in a recent post, and thought I would share it, and my response here. James, I read your “Just Sayin” post today and clicked through your link to your post from 2010 about Eccles 2: Not sure if you’ve [Read More…]