November 15, 2018

On Facebook, Laura Robinson shared a blog post by Alisa Childers from the Gospel Coalition website that offered yet another of its characteristic attacks on more mainstream forms of Christianity. In this one, they focus on what they perceive as similar points made by atheists and progressive Christians (not noticing that we made them first and the atheists borrowed them from us). Here is what Robinson wrote in her critique of the piece by Childers: Okay, I want to talk… Read more

November 14, 2018

This week’s episode of the ReligionProf Podcast features Ken Derry who, along with John Lyden, edited the new book The Myth Awakens: Canon, Conservatism, and Fan Reception of Star Wars. The book is published by Cascade, an imprint of Wipf and Stock. The incredible thing about it, the thing that I couldn’t believe when it was pointed out to me and yet must acknowledge is true, is this: this is the first complete volume focused on Star Wars undertaken from… Read more

November 13, 2018

I have another example to share of a cultural blind spot that affects how we read a famous beatitude. I have a great deal of time thinking about the differences between Matthew’s “poor in spirit” and Luke’s “poor,” but less about the more puzzling part, for a reader in a rich country, namely the meaning of “poor in spirit.” Isn’t it more appropriate to say that it is the rich in spirit who are blessed? But teaching my class on… Read more

November 12, 2018

The episode “Demons of the Punjab” was incredibly moving. I’ve visited India but not Pakistan. For some years, I taught a course on South Asian Civilizations, in which we read the novel Train to Pakistan. I had a lump in my throat at many points during this emotionally powerful story set against the backdrop of real events. The story begins in the present day at Yaz’s grandmother’s birthday party. We learn that Umbreen, her grandmother, was the first woman to get… Read more

November 11, 2018

Those of us who read science fiction and/or fantasy, and watch movies and other dramatizations of those stories, know that there is often a gap between what a text describes and what our minds imagine, and another gap between those and what special effects can flesh out nowadays in greater detail. And so, while I’d welcome comments from scholars of the Bible regarding what is depicted, I think there is definitely benefit to this sort of undertaking, to make a… Read more

November 10, 2018

Tom Wright published two volumes on Paul in his ongoing systematic treatment of the New Testament, Christian Origins and the Question of God. They bear the title Paul and the Faithfulness of God. There is a lot to appreciate and admire about them, and few things to despise unless the sheer size overwhelms you. They were the focus of a Patheos book club a long while back. I was supposed to participate, but they got these enormous tomes to us late and… Read more

November 9, 2018

Longtime readers of this blog will recall that I have an activity that I run in my class on the historical Jesus, in which I get students to reenact what the Jesus Seminar became famous for doing at its meetings. The Jesus Seminar, for those who may not be familiar with it, produced a variation on the classic red letter editions of the Gospels. They voted as a group on which sayings of Jesus they consider authentic – the actual… Read more

November 8, 2018

Some of you may have seen when I floated a vague suggestion on Facebook about a volume on Theology and AI or Robots in general, or Theology and Westworld in particular. I was delighted and frankly a little overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response, including multiple expressions of interest in participating in the editing of the volume. With so many enthusiastic to do so, and with me already having so many projects that I’m juggling, I thought it best to give… Read more

November 7, 2018

  I am delighted to have Kyle Greenwood as my guest on the latest episode of the ReligionProf Podcast. Most recently, he is the editor of Since the Beginning: Interpreting Genesis 1 and 2 Through the Ages. This is a multi-author edited volume tracing the impact and interpretation of these stories from ancient Israel until after Darwin. I previously reviewed Kyle’s book Scripture and Cosmology and also on another occasion linked to a review of the same book by someone else. One… Read more

November 6, 2018

I would have been delighted no matter what by the launch of the new Journal of Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. Here’s the description from the “about” page on their website: JIBS is a peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to publishing cutting edge articles that embody interdisciplinary, social justice-oriented, feminist, queer, and innovative biblical scholarship. We welcome submissions that challenge canonical and/or disciplinary norms and boundaries or that query the field of biblical studies’ relationship to the broader investigation of human religion, culture,… Read more

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