March 3, 2022

Ukrainian Churches in the Time of War Round table discussion Friday, March 4 18:00-19:30 Kyiv time [17:00-18:30 CET = 11 am EST] The war in Ukraine is heavily affecting the entire population of the country, churches included. We gathered an ecumenical cohort of representatives from Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as religious observers to examine how Ukrainian churches are reacting to the Russian military invasion and assisting the population. We will also examine the religious narratives being formulated and... Read more

February 28, 2022

I asked my Sunday school class to take a detour into a topic that I have been thinking about over the past several days. Three particular things have intersected to prompt this. One is hearing a philosopher’s talk about pan-African nationalism and its efforts against oppression and colonialism. The philosopher suggested that Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolence may have been a matter of pragmatism: fight the white majority, the government in the control of whites, by violent means and you’re... Read more

February 21, 2022

I had an interesting conversation with writer Andrew Logan who is working on a piece about Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth which became a bestseller. He (i.e. Andrew Logan and not Hal Lindsey) found his way to me via Fred Clark’s mention of my blog post “Evil in the Youth Group” which focused on how the end-times teachings I encountered in my teens were bearing disturbing fruit today, as evidenced by an individual who was respected... Read more

February 15, 2022

The 2022 International Conference on Religion & Film is themed ‘Visions of a Better World’ and aims to encourage scholars from around the world to consider the relation between religion and film from this perspective. It will feature several keynotes and panels on the topic of film and the politics of lived religion. Religion and film share a great similarity. Both are involved in world-building and meaning-making practices. Both offer sources for inspiration. Both create symbolic and mythical worlds and... Read more

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

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