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

November 5, 2018

The episode The Tsuranga Conundrum finds the Doctor and team scavenging for something she needs, when they encounter a sonic mine. They end up in a hospital. As they look for the exit, they find General Eve Cicero. The Doctor knows her – she is mentioned in the Book of Celebrants. The Doctor has a volume rather than a chapter about her. It turns out they are on a ship called the Tsuranga, and so they are on their way having… Read more

November 4, 2018

In a conversation not long ago with colleagues and friends connected with the study of religion, we had occasion to mention Paul Russell’s article about Hume and religion in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – more specifically, his terminology which characterized Hume’s religious views not as perhaps neither atheism or theism, but “thin” theism in contrast to “thick” (or at least “thicker”) varieties of that viewpoint. I immediately found myself making the quip that this ought to be a term… Read more

November 3, 2018

From the Islam and Science Fiction website: Islam and Science Fiction has been around since 2005. As we are entering out 14th year soon, we are launching a project that we have been thinking about many years – The world’s first magazine focused on publishing Science Fiction inspired by Islamic civilizations and ethos. It will be a quarterly magazine focused on Islamicate Science Fiction. The magazine will be published online quarterly, with the first issue being released on January 1,… Read more

November 2, 2018

As a fan of progressive rock, you might have assumed this post would be about church music in varying time signatures, alternating between 7/8 and 9/8 with the congregation struggling to keep up. But instead, it is about music crafted precisely for the experience some will have this Sunday, which is not unlike congregational singing in awkward time signatures, namely the changing of the clocks overnight. Cristiano Rizzotto shared this on Facebook: If you ever include it in a service… Read more

November 1, 2018

A fascinating connection was made in a recent Nautilus article between math and our search for meaning. Here is an excerpt: While we travel through the seemingly random events in our life, we are searching for patterns, and structure. Life is full of “ups and downs.” There are the joys of falling in love, giggling with your child, and feeling a sense of great accomplishment when a hard job is completed. There is also the pain of a crumbling relationship,… Read more

October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween! In this episode, Anthony Le Donne and I continue our conversation about the historical Jesus and related matters of interest. I shouldn’t need to say anything more, both because I know readers of this blog are interested in this topic, and I know people interested in this topic want to hear what Anthony has to say. And I also am confident that you’ve been eagerly awaiting part two of this conversation because you listened to part 1! Brian… Read more

October 30, 2018

I will be speaking at Starbase Indy this year, and they have a fantastic program lined up. Here are my two contributions which are offered jointly with my colleague Ankur Gupta: Friday, November 23 Autonomous Computers and the Kobayashi Maru Astrophysics, 8pm – 9:15pm Tags: STEM, Presentation James McGrath, Ankur Gupta Kirk’s not the only one who dislikes no-win situations. The difficulty all humans face when it comes to no-win scenarios brings key aspects of human ethical reasoning into focus,… Read more

October 29, 2018

In a recent interview, Mandip Gill (the actress who plays Yaz on Doctor Who) was asked: “If you could go anywhere in the TARDIS, where would you go?” Her answer was, “I would go to the beginning of time and see how the world really was created!” That seemed worth mentioning, before proceeding to talk about this week’s episode of Doctor Who, “Arachnids in the UK.” The episode does not have nearly as prominent religious themes as another famous episode with… Read more

October 28, 2018

I’ve been seeing lots of mentions of Stephen Hawking’s posthumously-published book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, and thought I would comment. Getting particular attention is Hawking’s more direct statement of his atheism in comparison with earlier publications. Hemant Mehta and Rob Picheta shared brief quotations: We are each free to believe what we want, and it’s my view that the simplest explanation is that there is no God. No one created the universe and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a… Read more

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