February 14, 2022

I listened to 1 Enoch as an audiobook (R. H. Charles’ classic translation) and was struck in a way I hadn’t been before by the well-known description of Noah’s birth, which leads Lamech his father to worry that he might be the child of an angel rather than his own offspring. 1 Enoch 106:2 (in the aforementioned translation) describes Noah as follows: His body was white as snow and red as the blooming of a rose, and the hair of... Read more

February 7, 2022

It took me until just recently to realize something. It is a result of my continuing to do preliminary work on my project on John the Baptist to which the next academic year will be dedicated. The realization is that we don’t actually believe the things that Jesus is reported as having said about John the Baptist. Most readers instinctively fail to take Jesus’ own words about John at face value, so certain are they that Jesus could not have praised... Read more

January 31, 2022

Congratulations are in order to my friend, composer Delvyn Case, who has been named the 2021 Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association, for his work “Psalms of Ascent.” You can listen to it here: Tablet magazine has a podcast interview with Delvyn Case about his cantata that I mentioned here previously, “The Binding of Isaac According to the Elohist.” The Society of Biblical Literature drew attention to the work of Nick Smolenski. Also take a... Read more

January 28, 2022

Call for Papers: Theology, Religion, and Dune Title: Theology, Religion, and Dune Editor: Christopher A. Porter, Trinity College, University of Divinity A mention of Frank Herbert’s Dune conjures up visions of warring houses, giant spice worms, mysterious Fremen, and the crucial ‘spice’ melange. But within Herbert’s broad world building enterprise, his universe unashamedly embeds religious themes and theological frameworks in the narrative. From the obvious themes of messianism and jihad through to somewhat subtler engagements with gender, these themes often... Read more

January 19, 2022

I am thrilled to have updates to share about multiple stories of mine being accepted for inclusion in a variety of anthologies. The first is one for which I am also sharing a call for contributions of not only short stories but also essays about the theme, which is the intersection of religion and spaceflight. It is a sequel to Touching the Face of the Cosmos where I had my first science fiction short story published. The new story for... Read more

January 18, 2022

Passing along this call for papers for a hybrid conference: To mark the centenary of the first staging in English of Karel Capek’s seminal play R.U.R., the Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction invites abstracts for a conference on the subject of robots in cultural productions, and in scientific, political, and social discourses. Proposals are welcomed for individual papers and for panels. We would particularly welcome proposals which bridge the artificial gap between the humanities and the... Read more

January 12, 2022

The Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell stories about Jesus’ birth and infancy with incompatible details. The geographical movements cannot be reconciled. In Matthew they are from Bethlehem and want to return there, and only go to Nazareth when they fear Herod’s son Archelaus. In Luke they are from Nazareth, go to Bethlehem and within a couple of months of Jesus’ birth they are back in Nazareth by way of Jerusalem. The census under Quirinius that Luke connects with the... Read more

January 10, 2022

Given how much of the Gospel of John reflects polemical interaction with followers of John the Baptist, I found myself wondering whether that might not be the case in John 5 as well. The story in John 5 is puzzling because it seems to require the later insertion about an angel troubling the water to make sense. The story in our earliest manuscripts reads: Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there... Read more

January 7, 2022

Here is the YouTube video of my conversation with Tripp Fuller and Donna Bowman, two academics who were the absolutely ideal conversation partners for a discussion of the Matrix movies in general and the most recent one, The Matrix Resurrections, in particular. Have a listen! Let me highlight some of the things that grabbed my attention in the most recent movie, and/or that I found worth revisiting in the original trilogy as a result of seeing this fourth one. “Stories never... Read more

January 3, 2022

I mentioned on Facebook that I have been thinking about other possible ways of structuring my course on the Bible that I teach pretty much every semester at Butler University. Here’s what I wrote: Question for biblical studies educators (as well as students and others who might have a relevant and interesting perspective to offer on this): I’m dissatisfied by the structure of my one-semester course on the Bible and pondering how to change it. This is a course that... Read more

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