December 5, 2019

I really shouldn’t start new projects. But I’ve had so many conversations recently with academics in my field about writing fiction that I think the time has come to do something about it. And so I’m going to be announcing soon the launch of a new periodical dedicated to fiction written by academics. This post aims mainly at gauging interest (and more specifically the kinds of interest there may be both from potential contributors and from potentially readers) and tackling… Read more

December 4, 2019

 I’m delighted that Juli Gittinger’s book Personhood and Science Fiction is now out, and that I had the chance to talk with her about it in this latest episode of the ReligionProf Podcast. I had the privilege of reading the manuscript prior to publication, and here’s the endorsement that I provided: In Personhood in Science Fiction, Juli L. Gittinger does more than merely survey or even analyse the treatment of persons human, alien, and android across some of the most popular… Read more

December 3, 2019

Research Fellowship Opportunity ACADEMIC YEAR: 2021-2022 THEME: Second Temple Judaism: The Challenge of Diversity The Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan seeks scholars for a residential fellowship in 2021-2022 to explore the challenges of diversity in Second Temple Judaism. Diversity of ethnicity, religion, social status, gender, age, and ability was as much a feature of the ancient Mediterranean world as it is in the present. We aim to explore the diversity of religious, cultural, and… Read more

December 2, 2019

It is worth noting precisely what it is that mythicists do with Paul’s references to Jesus in his letters, and just how easily the same could be done with James, the brother of Jesus, whom most mythicists accept was an actual person, while denying that he was actually Jesus’ brother. They emphasize that he is not called “the brother of Jesus” but “the brother of the Lord” as though the Lord, for Paul, were not clearly Jesus. Some have even… Read more

December 1, 2019

In the past I’ve tried to blog while at the AAR and SBL joint annual meetings, and I may manage on some future occasions. This year my conference was packed too full for that to be feasible, and wonderfully so. And so instead I am sharing some highlights after the fact, which I know many other attendees will still appreciate. I have a long list of sessions I’d have loved to be at, but could not, and will be happy… Read more

November 30, 2019

It looks like it may still be possible to submit proposals to this if you act fast! Call for Papers: Apocalypse, Dystopia, and Disaster Southwest Popular / American Culture Association (SWPACA) 41st Annual Conference, February 19-22, 2020 Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center Albuquerque, New Mexico Proposal submission deadline: EXTENDED to November 20th Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 41st annual SWPACA conference.  One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70… Read more

November 29, 2019

TexMoot 2020–Apocalypse: Unveiling the Future Signum University’s Third Annual Texas Literature & Language Symposium From Ragnarok to Revelation, from the utopian proposals of Plato’s Republic to the dystopian vision of Huxley’s Brave New World, a prominent concern of human language and literature has always been to describe possible futures. Some of these visions of the future are cataclysmic, looking forward to a time when Heaven—or Mother Earth—will wipe the slate clean; others propose a more optimistic vision of progress. Recent films such as Interstellar or Tomorrowland have taken… Read more

November 28, 2019

I love the Milken Archive. So much Jewish music has been made available, promoted, highlighted, more widely distributed, studied, and otherwise enhanced as far as connection with audiences of listeners is concerned. It was music by Lucas Foss that led me to draft this post. But other things worth mentioning from that site and their email newsletter kept coming my way, and so I’ll share some of those as well below. But first, a brief snippet from the post about… Read more

November 27, 2019

First, the news that an entomologist claims to have spotted insects on Mars. Take a look at the images and judge for yourselves. Now, for a recent IO9 article: What about implications for religions? Would finding alien life cause a mass crisis of faith? “Unfortunately, I’ve spent years working through these questions,” said Weintraub. “My 2014 book, Religions and Extraterrestrial Life, is devoted entirely to how religions of the world would react. The short answer is that some already believe in… Read more

November 26, 2019

Rock music has been associated in the minds of most people more with LSD than LDS. (Sorry, but this seemed like it might be the one appropriate opportunity to make that acronymic joke). While reading and thinking about theology and progressive rock, I keep finding things that are outside of that genre but nonetheless very interesting. One is that Jonathan Cain of Journey fame is married to Paula White, the Pentecostal televangelist who has made news lately for her connection with… Read more

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