• Sects and Violence in the Ancient World

    A blog that tries to find intelligent things to say about religion and related subjects.


  • Beat the Press

    Beat Press

    Like many people, I’ve been re-reading 1984 and wondering what’s going on in a country I thought I knew. With clear evidence of wrong-doing on the part of the... Read more

    Posted on 28 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Incident at the Wailing Wall

    Incident Wailing Wall

    While reading about Jerusalem lately, I recalled my first visit to the Wailing Wall. The Wailing Wall is the only standing part left of the temple that Herod th... Read more

    Posted on 27 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Human Omniscience

    Human Omniscience

    This might take some thought, but please bear with me. I’ve been reading about how some scientists are eager to promote rationality only as the true... Read more

    Posted on 26 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Cloaking Device

    Cloaking Device

    America’s book is seldom read. Those of us who spend an unusual amount of time with the Bible know this from personal experience, but others are starting to... Read more

    Posted on 25 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Sleepy Holy

    Sleepy Holy

    Fox recently announced that, after four seasons, Sleepy Hollow is being cancelled. The news, while not unexpected, is still disappointing. The initial success o... Read more

    Posted on 24 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Seven Deadly

    Seven Deadly

    If your outlook contains the word “supremacy,” I would humbly suggest, it’s time to rethink your philosophy. Borne of a deep insecurity—or overweening pride,... Read more

    Posted on 23 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Revisiting Frankenstein

    Revisiting Frankenstein

    There’s nothing like going back to the classics. Many people don’t realize that one of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century was Mary Shelley’s... Read more

    Posted on 22 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Becoming


    It’s pretty difficult to summarize the feelings when watching your own child graduate from college. Of course, she’s not a child any more, but that’s always... Read more

    Posted on 21 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • One Size Fits All

    Size Fits

    The divide between religion and science is often artificially widened by one side or the other. Of course the divide’s artificial—both science and religion are... Read more

    Posted on 20 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Size and Its Matters

    Size Matters

    Have you ever wondered where your Bible came from? No, I mean physically. There are many possible answers to such a query, so the other day I was searching for... Read more

    Posted on 19 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • It’s Okay

    It’s Okay

    It once seemed improbable that an entire book could be written on one word. The first time I noticed this I was a doctoral student who’d run across the late... Read more

    Posted on 18 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Spiritual Spelunking

    Spiritual Spelunking

    Looking at the headlines it’s sometimes difficult to believe we’ve evolved. I still trust evidence-based science, despite official government policy, however. Read more

    Posted on 17 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Write Or Wrong

    Write Wrong

    Lots of people write for lots of reasons. Some love it. Some hate it. Some can’t help themselves. For those who know me primarily through this blog, it may not... Read more

    Posted on 16 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Ironically


    Irony is a national resource that’s in abundant supply. Those who inadvertently create it may be the least equipped to appreciate it, but that’s ironic, isn’t... Read more

    Posted on 15 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Mothers’ Daze

    Mothers’ Daze

    Washington’s war on women has made this Mother’s Day especially poignant. As hard as it is to believe, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had mothers. Read more

    Posted on 14 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • An Elephant’s 100 Percent

    Elephant’s Percent

    When I walked out of that dissertation defense, still a little unsure whether I’d passed or not, I thought my testing days were over. Read more

    Posted on 13 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Sideliners


    Sidelines can be interesting places to sit. You’re close to the action, and you’re privileged with a close view that few others have. You can’t, however, play... Read more

    Posted on 12 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • See Around Us


    There aren’t too many people that I consider personal heroes. Those that I do have earned the sobriquet in odd ways, I suppose. That makes them no less... Read more

    Posted on 11 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Kindling


    Paula Cocozza, writing for The Guardian, describes “How E-books Lost Their Shine.” Like most inveterate readers, she says she has stacks of books growing like... Read more

    Posted on 10 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Filling the Frame

    Filling Frame

    Those who study the Bible have to reckon with the fact that someone else probably said it first. This is one of the inherent liabilities of studying something... Read more

    Posted on 09 May 2017 POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY