Can’t Miss Session: Mythmaking at Christian Tourist Attractions

Can’t miss this one! Directly relevant to my new research project!
North American Association for the Study of Religion
Theme: Strategies of Mythmaking at Christian Tourist Attractions
Saturday – 9:30 AM-11:50 AM
Hilton Bayfront-202B
wiki commons photo

wiki commons photo

This panel theorizes four present-day Christian tourist attractions as sites of ongoing social and mythic formation: The Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY, Bible Walk in Mansfield, OH, and the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, FL. Working from Bruce Lincoln’s observation that “myth is ideology in narrative form,” the papers examine various strategies by which Christian tourist attractions enable visitors to interact directly within mythic configurations. This direct interaction functions as a type of pilgrimage, whereby visitors locate themselves within a mythic trajectory that begins with the creation of the world and points toward an eternity with (or, perhaps, without) Christ.

Erin Roberts, University of South Carolina
Mythic Formation at the Holy Land Experience
Jennifer Eyl, Tufts University
Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego…and Jesus?: Anachronism as a Constituent Feature of Mythmaking
Steven Watkins, Northern Kentucky University
Myth, Anachronism, and Fiction: The Creation Museum’s Production of Scientific and Biblical Misplacements
James Bielo, Miami University
How to Build an Ark: Intertextuality and Authority Among Creationist Artists
Sean Durbin, Macquarie University
“It is what it is”: Rhetoric of Legitimation and Authentic Identity Construction on a Christian Zionist Tour of Israel

Safe and Sound in San Diego

Well, here I am in glorious San Diego for the AAR/SBL!  Finishing a paper today and going for a long walk.

Here’s the view from the 14th floor of the Omni Hotel








San Diego, here I come!

Off to San Diego for the AARSBL conference. Do I have my presentations done? Of course not. But I’m missing class today and on Tuesday, so do I care? Yes, yes I do. I think I’ll just make some powerpoint presentations with cat pictures, and that should work. I am dreading the question time though. I always get “What the hell was that all about?” or “Is it over yet”?lolcatOohGeez

If anyone wants me I will be at the Omni Hotel…

My sessions are both on Monday:


1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 410 A (Level 4 (Sapphire)) – Hilton Bayfront (HB)

Theme: Academic Freedom and Biblical Studies

Rebecca Raphael, Texas State University–San Marcos, Presiding
Jim Linville, University of Lethbridge
In Search of the Biblical Flintstones? Some Thoughts on Creationism, Academic Freedom, and Scholarly Obligation(30 min)
Hector Avalos, Iowa State University
Academic Freedom and Creationism in Public Universities (30 min)
James F. McGrath, Butler University
Can University Walls Keep Out the Internet? (30 min)
Christopher Rollston, George Washington University
Freedom of Religion and Academic Freedom: Symphony and Cacophony in Confessional Higher Education (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)



4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Room 1 B (Upper level) – San Diego Convention Center (CC)
The session will conclude with a panel of scholars who blog (including Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne, among others), talking about key moments in the intersection of academic blogging and Biblical studies from recent months. One of the great things about blogging is that it allows discussion of Biblical studies and other academic news over the course of the year. This panel thus makes room for discussion of topics that could not be foreseen when the program was finalized in April. Expect mention of specific topics and panelists on the scholarly blogs prior to November!

James F. McGrath, Butler University, Presiding
Kimberly Majeski, Anderson University (IN)
Biblioblogging: A Bridge for Church and Academy (30 min)
James Linville, University of Lethbridge
May Contain Nuts and B.S. (Biblical Studies): The Politics of Academic Legitimacy Online and the Need to Properly Theorize the Category “@%!#*! Loonie” (30 min)
Other (90 min)



Hitler, Putting the “Win” Back in Darwin.

Take that, Ben Stein!

Ben_Stein_mitt_uns copy

Study Leave in the Bag!

WOOT!  I got word last week that my Study Leave application has been accepted, and barring last minute WTFery from the board of governors, I will have 12 months (starting July 2015) to get creative! Counting summer breaks, that’s about 16 months with no classes and no darn committee meetings! Horray!

Stolen from

Stolen from

I’m trying to finish a grant proposal. It is an internal U. of Lethbridge grant, ca. $23,000 over two years. Most of it will be spent on travel to as many of the creationist museums et. al. as I can make it to and some creationist conferences. I also want to spend some time at the National Center for Science Education Library in Oakland. They apparently have a lot of rare publications and so forth. The deadline is next week.

Details of the project here.

Creationist Events in Alberta

CREATON MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL has a list of some upcoming Creationist Events in Alberta, so the interested might want to go see. For more details and talks elsewhere in Canada, go to their website

One I made years ago.

Evolution, What Are The Facts?  Speaker: Calvin Smith
Thursday, Oct. 30  7:00 PM
Foothills Lutheran Church
3104—34th Ave NW, Calgary

Q & A Forum: Answers by the Book. Speaker: Dr. Jim Mason
Friday, Nov. 28 7:00 PM
Mirror Alliance Church
5011 50th Ave, Mirror, AB

Speaker: Dr. Jim Mason
Saturday, Nov. 29 
9:30: Origins by the Book
11:00: How to Survive as a Creationist in an Evolutionistic World
12:45: What About Dinosaurs?
1:45: Questions and Answers
Blackfalds Community Fellowship
5005 East Railway St, Blackfalds

Origins by the Book: Speaker: Dr. Jim Mason
Sunday, Nov. 30
Faith Community Church
4810 Womacks Rd, Blackfalds.

A List of Creationist Museums, Themeparks, Travelling Exhibits & Field Trips

I’m trying to catalogue as many Creationist Museums and the like (both big and small) as possible as a part of my new research project (see here). I’ve got a few dozen or so, but if you know of anymore please send me a note or add a comment! I will also be making a list of creationist organizations, but that is a much longer list.

I’ve tried to weed out the ones that don’t seem to be an on-going concern. There are a lot of dead webpages out there, and some of the smaller organizations may have a museum open but don’t have much of a web presence or a very out of date website. I haven’t contacted any of the organizers at this point.  I’d be grateful for any additions or corrections!

All Sorts 021

Big Valley Creation Science Museum “Evidence from Genealogy” Photo by JR Linville



Big Valley Creation Science Museum
Big Valley, AB

Creation Discovery Centre
Bow Island AB

Creation Truth Ministries (Secrets of Creation Travelling Museum)
Red Deer, AB


Museum of Creation (C.A.R.E. Ministries)
New Life Sanctuary Church
618 Muriel St
Winnipeg MB R2Y 0Y2


Creation Science Museum of Canada (travelling museum)
Creation Ministries of Ian Juby
110 Kings Road
Chalk River, ON
K0J 1J0

Creation Research Museum of Ontario
Goodwood Baptist Church
283 Highway 47 Goodwood Ont.

United States


Canyon Ministries (Grand Canyon creation tours)
PO Box 50571
12921 Pine Rock Ln, Parks, AZ 86018
Parks, AZ 86018

Creation, Evolution, and Science Ministries (Grand Canyon creation tours)
Flagstaff, AZ


Creation Research of the North Coast Museum (In Planning Stages)
Creation Research of the North Coast,
PO BOX 771,
Bayside, CA 95524

Creation Safaris 

19635 Green Mountain Dr.
Newhall, CA 91321-2147

Dino Creation Museum, Center for Natural Studies
6151 Fair Oaks Blvd, Sacremento, CA.

Creation and Earth History Museum* Light and Life Foundation
Santee, CA.

World’s Biggest Dinosaurs*
Cabazon, CA


A Key Encounter! Nature Theatre and Planetarium
Key West, FL.

Creation Adventures Museum
Arcadia, FL

Creation Discovery Museum
Creation Studies Institute
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Creation Expeditions
Crystal River, FL

Creation Today (& The Creation Store)
5800 North W. Street
Pensacola FL 32505


Camp Sunrise Museum
1427 Slate Mine Rd., S.E.
Fairmount, GA 30139-2835


Northwest Science Museum
NWSM Vision Center
1831 Wildwood St.
Boise ID. 83713


Ark Encounter (under construction)
Answers in Genesis
on I-75
Williamstown, KY

AIG Museum. Photo: Wikipedia: Public Domain

Creation Museum
Answers in Genesis
PO Box Hebron KY 41048
2800 Bullittsburg Church Road
Petersburg, KY 41080


God’s Ark of Safety Ministry
18606 Cherry Lane
PO Box 52
Frostburg, MD 21532
Church/Conference centre built as replica of Ark


Creation Museum of the Ozarks
112 Pine St.
Strafford, MO. 65757


Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum
Foundation Advancing Creation Truth
PO Box 684
Glendive MT 59330-0684


Boneyard Creation Museum
1709 S E Street
Broken Bow, NE 68822

New Jersey

Creation Science Hall of Fame (Online, planning physical structure)
P.O. Box 82
Tranquility, NJ 07879

New York

Origins Museum
Exploration Science Center
Tri-State Family Christian Center Building
100 Faith Court
Rt. 209 in Port Jervis, NY 12771

North Carolina

North Carolina Museum of Creation,
Taxidermy Hall of Fame of North Carolina,
Antique Tool Museum

156 Northwest Broad Street,
Southern Pines, NC

Akron Fossils and Science Center Ark

Akron Fossils and Science Center Ark. Photo by By Ian Juby ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Akron Fossils & Science Center      
2080 South Cleveland-Massillon Rd.
Copley, OH 44321


Creation Truth Foundation (& Mobile Museum of Earth History)
PO Box 1435
117 South Main St.
Noble, OK 73068


Bible History Exhibits
Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

2424 East Hagert Street
Philadelphia, PA  19125

South Dakota

Grand River Museum
114 10th Street
West Lemmon, SD 57638


Ark Museum and Dinosaur Park Project Creation: A Creation Education Ministry
Murfreesburo, TN

Wyatt Archeological Museum
2502 Lynnville Hwy
Cornerstone, TN 37047


Creation Evidence Museum
Glen Rose, TX

Discovery Center
Abilene TX

Mt. Blanko Fossil Museum
PO Box 550
124 W. Main
Crosbyton, TX 79322

Museum of Earth History, Creation Truth Foundation
Dallas, TX;


Creation Hall Museum
Centre for Creation Studies, Liberty University
1971 University Boulevard
Lynchburg, VA 24515


Seven Wonders Museum
Silverlake, WA


What’s the Evidence?  (Travelling exhibits)
Wisconsin Fair Booth

Genesis Expo, Portsmouth. Foto by geni (Photo by user:geni) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


United Kingdom      

Genesis Expo
Portsmouth, UK

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Clevedon Road
BS48 1PG

Ultimate Questions Creation Trailer (travelling displays)
Creationist Out Reach Ministries
Northern Ireland


Wuppertal, Germany


Noah’s Ark
Maasstraat 14
3313 CR Dordrecht


Parque Discovery
Mafra, Portugal


Land Of Genesis Theme Park (Projected)
Genesis-Land AG
Molkereistrasse 1, CH-8645 Jona

Western Pacific 


Jurrasic Ark: Outdoor Creation Museum
Gympie, Queensland,
(Creation Research: Worldwide Creation Research Team).

Hong Kong

Noah’s Ark
33 Pak Yan Road
Ma Wan, New Territories,
Hong Kong

 New Zealand

Creation Museum of Aotearoa/New Zealand  (defunct?)
2 Truby King Drive, Waikouaiti 9471,
Otago, New Zealand
(defunct? Link does not work.

On Creationism’s Myth Making and Recreating Myself

Hi folks!
It’s me again.


Out In


Finally. I’m going to start blogging again! I’m starting a whole new research project and at the moment I’m waiting to hear if I get a year long study leave starting in July 2015 and I’m trying to write a sensible grant proposal for fund to travel in aid of the project.

It is a MAJOR change in direction for me but I’m pretty excited about it. I don’t think I’m really retiring entirely from Hebrew Bible Studies but I am putting it on the back burner for a while, or at least shifting from historically and  literary oriented studies to the modern use of the Bible.

And what is the project? It doesn’t have a formal name but the working title is:


The primary focal point of the project is an analysis of modern Christian creationism and some facets of anti-creationism (both secular and religious) as competing processes of mythmaking concerning history, human destiny, foundations of a meaningful life, and identity and power politics.

I’m taking mythology as the narrative expressions of ideology and social and personal identity but instead of concentrating on the stories per se I’m interested in the processes of myth making: the retelling and interpreting old narrative plots and tropes, and generating new narratives. Mythology can be expressed in narrative or poetic form, or alluded to in other kinds of verbal or written communication, or represented in image and sculpture, performing art, or architecture. Creationists do not merely defend biblical stories of creation as valid histories of the universe and life, but actively select, modify, and supplement biblical narratives with additional stories that together comprise a new mythology that creates and validates modern creationist identity group identity, even to the point of claiming that the doctrine of biblical creationism is inseparable from true Christianity. Henry Morris (2000), who did much to shape modern creationism, considered that all ancient religion to have espoused evolutionary thought, against which stood the “truth” of the biblical six-day creation . Creationist myth is not simply the biblical stories, but their shifting adaptations in  sermons, casual retellings, children’s stories, or visual displays, often in concert with other biblical and extra-biblical myths.  These other myths concern theological” topics such as salvation and eschatology, provide paradigms of prophetic self-understanding and martyrdom, as well as socio-political discourses that span the “religious” vs. “secular” divide. These include Western notions of human progress vs. moral decline, individuality, and the religious foundations of modern states and the persistent legacy of the Bible as a foundational Western document.


“The Need to Properly Theorize the Category “@%!#*! Loonie”: Help Wanted.

Hello folks!
I’m back!

I’m also trying to get some opinions, views, caveats and threats to use for one of my papers for the November Society of Biblical Literature meeting in San Diego.  Here’s the blurb on the paper, which will be in the Blogging and Online Scholarship session on Monday, Nov. 11, 4:00-6:30 pm:

May Contain Nuts and B.S. (Biblical Studies):
The Politics of 
Academic Legitimacy Online and the Need to Properly Theorize the Category “@%!#*! Loonie”

Blogging provides many biblical scholars with a simple and fast way of presenting their academic views to a general public, even if there is little prestige or formal recognition for serious, academic posts. The benefit seems to lie in the quick networking of ideas and the building of relationships between scholars. The medium also allows scholars to easily play the role of accessible public intellectual, something badly needed in a world that has devalued advanced education.

The Internet’s lack of censorship guarantees a high level of academic freedom but it also subjects scholars to an equally high level of non-academic freedom. Not only is there a complete lack of peer review, the likelihood that any serious post may attract unwanted attention from those with no understanding of the subject matter or fringe theory or doctrine to promote is very real. With most bloggers allowing readers some freedom to comment without moderation, discussions can be easily sidetracked into tangential or completely off-topic exchanges that can get acrimonious very quickly. Disallowing or vetting comments also smacks of censorship and may actually play into the hands of those who see critical scholarship as a self-absorbed ivory tower or even conspiracy against the “Truth.” This paper, then, offers a critical examination of how scholarly bloggers assert the validity of the academic study of the bible, their own academic legitimacy. It also examines the “othering” of non-mainstream theorists, religious fundamentalists, anti-intellectualists, purveyors of alternate histories, internet “trolls”, and assorted “dilettantes” and “crackpots”, and attempts to gauge the impact this may have on the practice of biblical scholarship and its reception by a wider audience.

What I’m looking for is some input from Bible Bloggers or their frequent readers about the boundaries of scholarship, peer review, or anything else that you think might be useful for my paper. Perhaps you have a firm policy on comments, or a post that attracted a lot of debate about scholarship and non-scholarship; I’d appreciate a link. I appreciate that biblioblogging crosses a lot of denominational and secular lines, and this will have to be dealt with in the paper, but I would like to concentrate on the reception of posts made in a non-confessional context. By this I do NOT exclude Jewish or Christian bloggers for whom the Bible is sacred, but I’m more interested in posts that one does not need to be a member of any particular tradition to properly engage in. Anyway, if you have any thing to contribute, I’d love to hear from you! You can make a comment here or email me at james.linvil AT


Irony duly noted

RRS Conference: Paper Deadline Extended!

Research in Religious Studies Conference
For Undergraduate and Masters Students

University of Calgary

May 8-9, 2014

The paper proposals piled in late last week, and it looks like we are going to have a great show. There is still room for some more, so we will be accepting papers until ca. April 16 (or until we run out of class rooms to put people).

So, Get Yer Proposals In!


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