June 3, 2020

I was deeply disappointed to see a friend and fellow Christian posting things that were untrue on Facebook. These were things that were blatantly untrue even without fact-checking for those who know even a smattering about politics and history. But fact-checking also revealed deeper levels of misinformation about what was posted. I think it is important to challenge the spread of misinformation. Not only because it harms the reputation of Christianity when it is associated with lies. Not only because… Read more

June 2, 2020

A Statement on Black Lives Matter, Right to Protest, and Bible as Prop The Council of the Society of Biblical Literature and Executive Staff of SBL issue the following statement: We are appalled at the murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 by police. We grieve the murder of Breonna Taylor and many others who have died because of anti-Blackness. We are committed to the clear and unequivocal assertion that Black Lives Matter. We applaud the spirit of protest… Read more

June 2, 2020

This inaugural Conference on Early Christian Studies will be held on the campus of the University of Toronto on October 23-24, 2020. It aims to provide a forum for both senior and junior scholars to share their research. The workshop also seeks to offer new opportunities for networking among Canadian scholars of the Early Church. Send a project abstract (250 words) to: Don Springer (dspringer@sfseminary.edu) & John Solheid (john.solheid@mail.utoronto.ca) by July 1, 2020. Read more

June 1, 2020

I have been trying to find a way to turn my feelings into words about recent events. Others have been articulating the most important things that need to be said, better than I could have. And so I will amplify their voices with my own. Sometimes we need to borrow words from others to begin with. I’ll start with a Facebook friend who said that, if he were still a pastor, he would have called for 8 minutes and 46 seconds… Read more

May 31, 2020

There has been so much of interest related to the historical Jesus and the Gospels recently that a collection of links with a few quotes and discussions seemed in order. Let me start with something that initially seems only tangentially related. This fascinating article on Josephus’ references to “Galileans” suggests that he viewed them as a distinct ethnos from the Jews of Galilee, to be found primarily in the urban centers. Is that the right way to understand Josephus’ terminology? If… Read more

May 30, 2020

As someone whose life’s work is dedicated to studying things I love, I had to share this great article on the subject, “Games Criticism is a Kindness.” Here’s an excerpt: Criticism, it sometimes seems, is a dirty word. I don’t think that’s true. I think that whether you are praising something or condemning it, criticism is an act of love. I suspect that the word “criticism,” when read in isolation, evokes a negative connotation in many people’s minds. An image… Read more

May 29, 2020

Rabbi Rachel Mivka’s finale to this wonderful event sounded like it could be depressing and undermine our enthusiasm, given that it asked bluntly what the point of exploring vocation is when the world is going to end. She teaches “Living into our Commitments and Enacting Social Change,” and observed that no matter where she puts the climate crisis in the syllabus, it triggers despair. Before that they are fiery activists. A clip from the TV show The Newsroom conveys the data and… Read more

May 28, 2020

The pandemic is going to permanently impact higher education. Some institutions are already closed. Funding for state universities has been reduced leading them to close departments and eliminate majors. Faculty who resisted teaching online were forced to do so. This post brings together a number of things related to this topic. There are discussions of the future of institutions and discussions of creative pedagogical responses to the pandemic that are happening separately when they ought to at least be in… Read more

May 27, 2020

I use Feedly as a way of managing my reading of blogs and other sources of news. You have probably seen the effect of this. Especially if you’re following me on Twitter or have liked my Facebook page, you’ll know that in addition to my subscriptions providing me with lots and lots of links that can go into blog posts, I share other things I think are interesting all throughout the day, every day. Subscribing to blogs is crucial to… Read more

May 26, 2020

Continuing the recap of NetVUE’s workshop on vocation and religious studies prior to AAR/SBL 2019 in San Diego, and in fact the same session that I was talking about in my last post, the next presenter (Trina Jones) used the very memorable phrase, “I tend to be a Jackson Pollock kind of thinker.” She shared how she taught an upper-level course, “Interfaith Engagement and Religious Pluralism,” twice, the first time during the Obama administration, the second during the Trump administration. There… Read more

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