Beggars as Choosers: Christian Canon and Selective Reading

April 22nd, 2015

Brandon W. Hawk One of the distinctive features of the Bible is that it is not a single text but a collection: as many others have remarked, it is more like a library than a book. Of course, the contents of this library have been debated from early Christianity onward, and remain fluid for some

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Ted Cruz, the Gay Jihad, and Origins Narratives

April 13th, 2015

Thomas Whitley Ted Cruz announced his bid for the GOP nomination at Liberty University, the well-known conservative evangelical school founded by the late Jerry Falwell. This was just the beginning of his work to prove his conservative bona fides in his attempt to lock up the more conservative wing of the Republican Party. Last week,

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Thinking about Religion and Education with the Category of Conversion (Part II)

April 10th, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of posts by Leslie Ribovich. You can read the first post here. Thomas Nast, “Our common schools as they are and as they may be” (1870) Leslie Ribovich What are the drawbacks of thinking about religion and education within the study and framework of religious conversion?

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Thinking about Religion and Education with the Category of Conversion (Part I)

April 9th, 2015

Thomas Nast, “Our common schools as they are and as they may be” (1870) Leslie Ribovich In 1950s New York City, educators, psychologists, law enforcement, and sociologists wanted to transform public school students from one way of being and behaving in the world to another through education. They especially sought out students who had violated

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Shaping Religious Experience at the Museum of the Bible

April 1st, 2015

Meredith Ross My first course in my Master’s program in Library and Information Science was taught by a specialist in museum studies. He’d worked extensively with curators to create online exhibits for various museums over the years, and he told us that, in his experience, museum curators dislike nothing so much as they dislike online

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“Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged?”: On Religiosity and Morality from Paul to Phil Robertson

March 30th, 2015

Jenny Collins-Elliott Detective Martin Hart: I mean, can you imagine if people didn’t believe, what things they’d get up to? Detective Rustin Cohle: Exact same thing they do now. Just out in the open. Detective Martin Hart: Bullshit. It’d be a fucking freak show of murder and debauchery and you know it. Detective Rustin Cohle: If

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Facing Our Demons: What Does Satan Have to Do With Equal Rights?

March 25th, 2015

Emily S. Johnson A church in Knoxville, Tennessee sparked controversy this week when it posted this message on its outdoor sign: “Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” One resident told local news station WBIR that the message was clearly “meant to offend a particular community – the LGBT community.” It seems equally

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Gender in Christianity: Immutable or Fluid?

March 11th, 2015

Thomas Whitley The Baptist General Convention of Texas has recently announced their position that one’s gender assignment is “immutable.” In a statement the group said that while “some people today are expressing a desire to identify themselves with the gender which differs from their biological gender”and some “are seeking to function in the broader society

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The Buffered Self and Movie Buffs

February 25th, 2015

Jeffrey Wheatley The Academy Awards took place this past Sunday, so I thought a post on movie-going would be appropriate. Plenty of religious studies and American religious history books have engaged religion and cinema in one way or another (Judith Weisenfeld’s stellar Hollywood Be Thy Name comes to mind), but, despite a once tepid response

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Heresiology As a Zero Sum Game

February 9th, 2015

Thomas Whitley Marcus Borg’s recent death has spurred many to speak out about his contributions to scholarship and to Christianity. Many celebrated Borg; some celebrated his passing. One reflection that caught my attention, though, was by Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In speaking of Borg’s “progressive Christianity,”Mohler says that “when you’re looking

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