June 22, 2022

For anyone interested in getting a glimpse of some of the exciting insights and groundbreaking new perspectives I’ve already come up with in the early stages of my research project focused on John the Baptist, I’m the keynote speaker at the Apostolic Johannite Church Conclave this weekend. My talk is titled “John the Baptist and the Mandaeans” and presents for a general audience some of what I consider the most interesting discoveries I’ve made thus far. Some are things implicit... Read more

June 13, 2022

I have been watching Babylon 5 and wanted to share this wonderful segment in episode 14 of the 5th and final season in which G’Kar, a member of the Narn species who wrote a book that people have come to regard as holy, is asked “What is truth? And what is God?” Here is his answer: If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for... Read more

June 6, 2022

There is a new book out by my Butler University colleague Tom Paradis: A Place Called District 12: Appalachian Geography and Music in The Hunger Games. Tom kindly agreed to do a blog interview and I was amazed by the time and effort he put into offering such detailed answers to my questions… Hi Tom. First, congratulations on your new book on a topic that I’ve been eager to talk with you about. The Hunger Games novels and movies offer... Read more

May 30, 2022

It was incredibly disconcerting to have the experience of finishing listening to the audiobook of Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel The Ministry for the Future and then hear the news of an extreme heatwave in India. A heatwave in India, albeit one set a few years from now and with a much larger number of deaths than we have had this summer at least thus far, is how the novel begins. I won’t give away spoilers (mentioning how the book begins doesn’t... Read more

May 26, 2022

Nicely converging with the announcement that there will be another season of Black Mirror, a book that I contributed to has been released: Theology and Black Mirror. I and several other contributors recorded an episode of the Two Cities podcast in which we talk about the book and the show more generally. Here is the information about the episode: NEW EPISODE of The Two Cities podcast! We’re once more talking about the new book, Theology and Black Mirror (published by Lexington... Read more

May 24, 2022

The Popular Culture and Theology blog just announced an extension to this call for papers: We are once again extending the call for papers for the Theology, Religion, and Margaret Atwood volume. The editors are interested in theological and religious analyses of Atwood’s works, which includes her famous A Handmaid’s Tale, but also includes her other short stories, essays, and poetry. Of particular interest would be a critical essay dealing with some of Atwood’s recent TERF comments. Other potential topics include... Read more

May 23, 2022

I am grateful to Matthew Paul Turner for sending me a copy of his latest children’s book, I Am God’s Dream, as a thank you for my review of the children’s book by Rachel Held Evans, What Is God Like?, that he completed and published. I want to write at least a little about it. Having read a lot of children’s books, first as a child and then to my child, I am struck after reading Turner’s latest that most of those... Read more

May 20, 2022

I have failed to blog about Picard but having watched the first few episodes of the new prequel series Strange New Worlds, I feel the need to get back to blogging about Star Trek. I have said before that Captain Christopher Pike as he was portrayed on Star Trek: Discovery quickly became my new favorite captain (it had previously been Benjamin Sisko). That owed much to the Discovery episode “New Eden” in which Pike shared that his father taught both... Read more

May 16, 2022

I had a chance to preview the new Apple TV series Prehistoric Planet and it is really impressive in all respects – scientifically, visually, and musically. The narration by David Attenborough is wonderful, but precisely what you might expect in a series reenacting the age of the dinosaurs. On the other hand, how often do you get to see a documentary with soundtrack by Hans Zimmer? Perhaps the key to understanding how a documentary can be so much like a... Read more

May 10, 2022

Several experiences have led me to think of ways to update classic parables from the New Testament as well as come up with brand new ones. That’s what you’ll get in this post. Even if you aren’t a New Yorker, you may have heard of New York’s LaGuardia Airport. It has a notorious reputation. I had the opportunity to fly through there recently, and the outside reinforced every worst expectation imaginable. It is a real mess. It looks like a... Read more

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