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…]

Early Jewish Christian Relations and the Presidential Executive Order on Immigration

A statement from the steering committee of the SBL Early Jewish Christian Relations program unit: As scholars devoted to the topic of early Jewish-Christian relations, we are saddened by the executive order barring admission of non-citizens from predominantly Muslim countries, including those with legally-issued visas, into the U.S. We know all too well the result [Read More…]

Mike Pence on Muslim Immigrants, 2015-2017

None other than J. K. Rowling drew attention to this tweet from Mike Pence from back in 2015: Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional. — Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) December 8, 2015 She then added a Biblical quote, challenging his hypocrisy: And now he is saying nothing against the [Read More…]

Overestimating Muslim Numbers

An article in The Guardian showed the extent to which Europeans – and Americans – overestimate the percentage of the population of their country who are Muslims. The article also highlights other differences between perception and reality, for instance in relation to the views of others in their country about a variety of controversial topics. Click through [Read More…]

The Unsurprising Intersection of Islam and Science Fiction

IO9 highlighted what it called the “surprising” intersection of Islam and sci-fi. The only thing surprising, to me, was that this is described as surprising – and that seems to just be a case of a clickbait title, since the article itself explains why this should not be surprising. The long history of pioneering exploration in [Read More…]

Easy Mistake to Make

  Hemant Mehta shared the above correction that appeared recently in the New York Times. Any theories about how such an error came about?   [Read more…]

Traditions and Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity – #AARSBL15 Monday Afternoon

Traditions or Eastern Late Antiquity co-sponsored a session with the SBL section on Religious Worlds of Late Antiquity, focused on exploring and problematizing the phenomena that have been labeled “Christianization” and “Islamicization.” The papers looked at topics at the intersection of the two traditions, such as celibacy, and sacred space. I was delighted to see [Read More…]

Stop White Christian Immigration Now!

America is under attack. We can look back over the history of our nation and recall figures like William Cornell way back in 1863, or James Holmes and Dylann Roof from more recently. We can look over the list Wikipedia provides of more than a hundred rampage killers and other examples of mass violence in American [Read More…]

News Flash: Right-Wing Fundamentalists Don’t Understand Islam

Hemant Mehta drew attention to angry outbursts on Twitter, from conservatives who are upset that president Obama did not mention God in his 4th of July address. These two particularly baffle me: @BlissTabitha He’s an atheist with Muslim tendencies. — Troy Ellison (@blayne_troy) July 4, 2015 [ Military ] Open Question : Obama removes God from [Read More…]

Proof That Obama is Satan

Barack Obama is nearing the end of his second term as president. Once his term is over, if not sooner, I hope that people will appropriately mock and ridicule those who confidently proclaimed that Obama is the Antichrist, by which they mean an individual who will rule the world in a final rebellion against God [Read More…]