September 2, 2019

David Kyle Johnson writes in the Sci Phy Journal: Ironically, The Black Hole may have been more accurate than Interstellar regarding one aspect of black holes: what you would see if you entered one. Now, this may seem odd if you’ve seen both films. In Interstellar, Cooper enters Gargantua to find a tesseract—a 3 dimensional representation of a four dimensional object (in this case, his daughter bedroom) placed there by “five-dimensional bulk beings.” The idea that all black holes contain tesseracts is not suggested by… Read more

September 1, 2019

Call for Papers: Rethinking Media, Religion and Secularities Conference of the International Society for Media, Religion and Culture Conference location: Sigtuna Foundation, Sigtuna, Sweden Conference dates: 4-7 of August 2020 Deadline for Paper proposals: 6 December 2019 Notification of acceptances: Mid February 2020 The globalization of our lifeworld has brought attention to how we think about religion and non-religious contexts. The existence of secularity in contemporary society and culture is contested in many fields in which scholars of media, religion… Read more

August 31, 2019

Via John Morehead’s TheoFantastique blog: The Journal of Gods and Monsters Special Issue: The Monstrosity of Displacement  We are pleased to announce the creation of a new double blind, peer-reviewed, open access journal exploring the relationships between religion, monsters, and the monstrous: The Journal of Gods and Monsters. Headed by editors Natasha Mikles, John Morehead, Michael E. Heyes, and Brandon Grafius, The Journal of Gods and Monsters will be digitally housed at Texas State University and can be accessed at  https://godsandmonsters-ojs-txstate.tdl.org/godsandmonsters/index.php/godsandmonsters. Monsters are often… Read more

August 30, 2019

I was excited to see this science fiction writing contest. The closest I have to a story that would fit is already too long and so I don’t anticipate entering, even though the story addresses the very question of who land – or a planet – belongs to, and how if at all it relates to a group having been there first or been in closer proximity to the territory for longer. I’m tempted to try to write something new… Read more

August 29, 2019

The CUNY Games Network (City University of New York) invites all involved in higher education pedagogy — faculty, administrators, graduate students, undergraduates, and game designers — to submit a talk or posters on the theory and practice of play and games, including interactive classroom learning activities. We also welcome game demos and playtesting that focus on higher education. See the bottom of this page to submit your proposal. In your submission, you will be asked to choose from the following… Read more

August 28, 2019

One question in particular has grabbed my attention in this story: how did Jesus know that the woman had given all she had? Was he simply guessing, or was he using someone as an illustration whose story he knew? As with so many other stories in the Gospels that I explore in this book, this one raises a question for the reader that we who read too often fail to ask. Did Jesus not teach these things before? Was this… Read more

August 27, 2019

I debated what to call this post. “No silver bullet when it comes to gun control” was one of the ideas. Either way, I had the thought occur to me that there might be an alternative to the current focus on gun control. My first thought was that the Constitution says nothing about a right to bullets, much less bullets of a particular type. And so it might be constitutional to allow relatively free access to guns but have strict… Read more

August 26, 2019

Here’s what I wrote in a comment responding to some of the further discussion that has been taking place on the website of The Bible and Interpretation, which published an article by Raphael Lataster, my response to him, and his further response to me. I think my biggest problem with the discussion from mythicist perspectives, here and elsewhere, is the inability or unwillingness to discuss at the level of very minute details and specifics. If one paints with a broad brush,… Read more

August 25, 2019

I’m wondering whether it will be helpful or counterproductive to have students in my course on China this semester think about what Confucius advocated – accuracy of description, ritual and decorum, reciprocity, and so on – and relate that to the internet age. Some discussion forums insist on ritual and impose linguistic restrictions. We’ve had the odd experience here at Patheos of having Disqus impose restrictions on keywords like Islam (this is a religion site for crying out loud) and… Read more

August 24, 2019

As I have been gearing up to teach Global and Historical Studies courses again (China and the Islamic Middle East this semester and South Asian Civilizations the next), I’ve been reminded of the alleged Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” It was mentioned in an audiobook I was listening to about Confucius. It turns out that the saying is yet another apocryphal one that cannot be traced back to its supposed original source or context. But it is… Read more

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