ReligionProf Podcast with Deb Saxon (Extracanonical Texts in Musical and Animated Settings)

ReligionProf Podcast with Deb Saxon (Extracanonical Texts in Musical and Animated Settings) April 3, 2019

My guest on the podcast this week is my Butler University colleague Dr. Deborah Saxon. She speaks with such enthusiasm about the importance of extracanonical Gospels and other such texts not merely as an academic interest, but for the church. I hope that her words are heard far and wide.

One of the great things about having a blog as well as a podcast is the opportunity to embed additional content alongside the audio recording. And so to start with, here is the animated version of the Gospel of Mary that Deb mentions in the podcast:

Another kind of video I appreciate is the making of animated version of texts – especially texts that do not always get the attention they deserve in textual form. I’ve shared a version of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in illustrated video form in the past. Now I’ve had my attention drawn to an animated video based on the Gospel of Mary. I’ve shared the latter above. I’ll also include the former, just because young Jesus speaking gibberish is so great, no one will object to me doing so. And if you’ve never seen it, you really should!

I had already started working on this post when I discovered that my colleague at Butler University, Dr. Deb Saxon, was involved with the project (connected with the Tanho Center) that produced the Gospel of Mary video. You can hear more about it from her here:

If you are looking for still more in-depth, academic information about the Gospel of Mary beyond what I’ve already shared in this post, but still in accessible audiovisual form, try Phil Harland’s podcasts. And see David Capes’ blog for a general introduction to the Gnostic Gospels. Finally, James Tabor recently shared a number of thoughts and references related to Mary Magdalene (and other Marys). And for those who speak Spanish, Tomás García-Huidobro blogged about the Gospel of Philip.

While we wait for the new settings of Odes of Solomon, recorded by Natalie Renee Perkins, that is mentioned in the podcast, here is a choral setting of some of them by Greg Bartholemew:

I was also struck to discover that one of the Odes of Solomon has been recorded by Contemporary Christian Music artist Fernando Ortega!

I’m also eager to find out more about April De Conick’s “Gnosis in Rhythm and Song” project. Do also have a listen to Bartholemew’s Three Gnostic Poems (the text of which is not ancient, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t share them here too!):

Also of related musical and biblical/extracanonical interest, there is an article on what the Episcopal Church has been doing musically to address the concerns of the #MeToo era.


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