March 6, 2020

I’m working on developing a new short-term study abroad course focused on religion in Ireland, from before Christianity to Brexit and the looming possibility of the revival of the troubles. I’m thinking that something like the following would work well, but having access to a wide network of faculty, present and former students, and others who’ve traveled to the Republic of Ireland and/or Northern Ireland, it seems appropriate to crowdsource this. What other places would you visit on such a… Read more

March 5, 2020

With a project related to progressive rock and the Bible in the works, and the news having broken that Genesis will reunite for a tour, you’re probably expecting this post to be connected to that. It isn’t, at all, as far as I can tell. I just happened to come across several things related to the other kind of rock. And to be honest, I’d be hard pressed to decide which sort of rock I find most interesting, given some… Read more

March 4, 2020

Thanks to generous funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (which President Trump would like to see eliminated) an open access edition of the Mandaean Book of John text and translation (without the critical edition and commentary available only in the full version for purchase) has been released. It will not be available through the De Gruyter website. We’ve shared it on Academia.edu and you can find it there. It is our sincere hope that, in addition to serving the… Read more

March 3, 2020

In recognition of open education week, I want to highlight the way that not only I nor even just my faculty colleagues at Butler University but our institution as a whole is taking steps to address the issue of the rising costs of textbooks. While tuition and room and board present significant financial challenges to students who attend university, there is only so much room for adjustment there. When it comes to textbooks, however, there are things that individual faculty can… Read more

March 2, 2020

I’ve already seen people using the term “retcon” in reference to “The Timeless Children.” However, those who vividly remember episodes like “The Brain of Morbius” not to mention many from the era of Sylvester McCoy will probably be thinking “finally!” What is featured in this episode isn’t retconning (although some of that will be needed to weave already-contradictory pieces into a coherent whole, if that is the aim). It is maximum continuity, finally exploring things that have been hinted at… Read more

March 1, 2020

Call for papes: International Conference “The Medieval Eschatology” The conference will be held at the School of Geography & History (University of Santiago de Compostela) on 28th – 29th July 2020. Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 May 2020. Eschatology is one of the central components of medieval Christian culture. The end of the world, the Last Judgment, salvation, Messianism, the Antichrist, the Apocalypticism and millenarianism are inescapable elements in what we may generally describe as “Medieval eschatology”. In this universe, the coming of… Read more

February 29, 2020

One of the wonderful experiences I had when visiting Australia was to go stand outside the famous and iconic Sydney Opera House before sunrise on Sunday morning and experience the event they call Dawn Chorus, which I discovered even some locals are unaware of. The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs perform Sunday mornings on the steps of the Sydney Opera House, and they begin singing even before they come into view on the steps, to an awe-inspiring effect. I had thought that… Read more

February 28, 2020

The movie Burden about a KKK member who turns from racism opens in theaters today, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to screen it in advance of its theatrical release. I am likely to be appreciative of any movie that both exposes the racism of the southern United States and calls those who persist in it to repentance. Having grown up in New York City with diversity simply as a given, the things I see in a… Read more

February 27, 2020

I am at long last reaching the end of this extended recap of the day workshop on the future of gen ed, arriving at the final Q&A. These are much more diffuse and scattered than what I offered in previous posts, since here there were diverse questions and my own mind was pulling together the threads from the whole experience.  It was fascinating to hear how each constituency on some campuses insists that they know what is needed: Engineering students… Read more

February 26, 2020

Jesus obeys, therefore God highly exalted him. This is what Paul says in Philippians 2:6-11. How does this relate to his frequent assertions that God accepts human beings on the basis of grace and not works? Does it lend support to the interpretation that Paul’s focus is not in fact good works or obedience as Luther thought, but “works of the Law” in the sense of the specific requirements that separate Jews from Gentiles, such as circumcision, kosher food laws,… Read more

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