Margaret Barker at BYU

Margaret Barker at BYU October 11, 2018


The very primitive Earth
The very early Earth, as conceived by an artist — not obviously well suited at that point to the creation of intelligent life, or, for that matter, to any other kind of life, let alone to conservation, theology, and the building of temples  (Wikimedia Commons public domain)


A last-minute and mostly too-late reminder, sent to me earlier today by my friend Jack Welch:


Margaret Barker, a Methodist scholar of Bible and Temple Studies, will present “Creation Theology, Temple, and the Environment” at BYU. Dr. Barker works with faith communities to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues such as the plight of the world’s waters.

George Handley, David Larsen, and Jacob Rennaker will be participating. Following the presentations, there will be time for questions and discussion, and the event will conclude at 4:15. Find out more here. Dr. Barker and Dr. Handley will present at USU in the days prior to the event.

The event is free. It will be recorded and made available on in coming weeks.




Here’s a book note that I wrote more than ten years ago, but that might interest some of you still today:


William J. Hamblin. Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC: Holy Warriors at the Dawn of History. London and New York: Routledge, 2006. xxiv + 517 pp., with bibliography and index.

Dr. Hamblin, a professor of history at Brigham Young University and a frequent FARMS contributor (e.g., with Stephen D. Ricks, co-editor of the important 1990 FARMS volume Warfare in the Book of Mormon), has produced a hefty tome that ranges from its opening chapter on “The Neolithic Age and the origin of warfare (to c. 3000)” to an eighteenth chapter treating “Early Second Intermediate Period Egypt (1786-1667).”  In between, he discusses warfare and siegecraft in Mesopotamia under the Akkadians and Neo-Sumerians and through the Middle Bronze Age (which furnishes the volume’s terminal date); covers Mari, Syria, Lebanon, Canaan, and Anatolia; and closes with several chapters on warfare in Egypt commencing from the Pre-Dynastic, Early Dynastic, and Old Kingdom periods.  Among many other topics, the book treats questions of recruitment and training, logistics, weaponry, the role of “magic,” naval conflict, fortifications, and combat narratives.  Dr. Hamblin pays particular attention to the ideology of the “holy war” in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, arguing that subsequent Near Eastern concepts of “holy war” (including today’s) should be understood against this older background.  In a jacket endorsement, Professor Robert Drews of Vanderbilt University pronounces the book “a goldmine of information—both textual and archaeological.”


The book is still available for sale, as well — of course — as in academic libraries:




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