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 http://creation.com/calendar.

One I made years ago.

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

MIRROR:
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

BLACKFALDS:
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out there, and some of the smaller organizations may have a museum open but don’t have much of a web presence or a very out of date website.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

Canada

Alberta:

Big Valley Creation Science Museum
Big Valley, AB
http://www.bvcsm

Creation Discovery Centre
Bow Island AB
http://www.creationbible.com

Creation Truth Ministries (Secrets of Creation Travelling Museum)
Red Deer, AB
http://creationtruthministries.org

Manitoba

Museum of Creation (C.A.R.E. Ministries)
New Life Sanctuary Church
618 Muriel St
Winnipeg MB R2Y 0Y2
http://www.carewinnipeg.com/museum-home

Ontario

Creation Science Museum of Canada (travelling museum)
Creation Ministries of Ian Juby
110 Kings Road
Chalk River, ON
K0J 1J0
http://ianjuby.org

Creation Research Museum of Ontario
Goodwood Baptist Church
283 Highway 47 Goodwood Ont.
http://creationresearchontario.weebly.com

United States

Arizona

Canyon Ministries (Grand Canyon creation tours)
PO Box 50571
Parks, AZ 86018
www.canyonministries.com

Creation, Evolution, and Science Ministries (Grand Canyon creation tours)
Flagstaff, AZ
http://www.creationministries.org

California

Creation Research of the North Coast Museum (In Planning Stages)
Creation Research of the North Coast,
PO BOX 771,
Bayside, CA 95524
http://www.creationnews.org/program.htm

Creation Safaris 

19635 Green Mountain Dr.
Newhall, CA 91321-2147
http://creationsafaris.com

Dino Creation Museum, Center for Natural Studies
Sacremento, CA.
http://www.cps.org.rs/Dino-museum/dino.htm

Museum of Creation and Earth History* Light and Life Foundation
Santee, CA.
http://www.creationsd.org

World’s Biggest Dinosaurs*
Cabazon, CA
http://www.cabazondinosaurs.com

Florida

A Key Encounter! Nature Theatre and Planetarium
Key West, FL.
http://www.akeyencounter.com

Creation Adventures Museum
Arcadia, FL
http://www.creationadventuresmuseum.org

Creation Discovery Museum
Creation Studies Institute
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
http://www.creationstudies.org/museum.html

Creation Expeditions
Crystal River, FL
http://www.creationexpeditions.com

Creation Today (& The Creation Store)
5800 North W. Street
Pensacola FL 32505
http://creationtoday.org

Georgia

Camp Sunrise Museum
1427 Slate Mine Rd., S.E.
Fairmount, GA 30139-2835
http://www.campsunrise.com

Idaho

Northwest Science Museum
NWSM Vision Center
1831 Wildwood St.
Boise ID. 83713
http://www.northwestsciencemuseum.com

Kentucky

Ark Encounter (under construction)
Answers in Genesis
on I-75
Williamstown, KY
https://arkencounter.com

AIG Museum. Photo: Wikipedia: Public Domain

Creation Museum
Answers in Genesis
PO Box Hebron KY 41048
2800 Bullittsburg Church Road
Petersburg, KY 41080
https://answersingenesis.org
http://creationmuseum.org

Maryland

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

Missouri

Creation Museum of the Ozarks
112 Pine St.
Strafford, MO. 65757
http://creationministriesoftheozarks.com

Montana

Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum
Foundation Advancing Creation Truth
PO Box 684
Glendive MT 59330-0684
http://www.creationtruth.org

Nebraska

Boneyard Creation Museum
1709 S E Street
Broken Bow, NE 68822
http://www.boneyardcreationmuseum.org

New Jersey

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

New York

Origins Museum
Exploration Science Center
Tri-State Family Christian Center Building
100 Faith Court
Rt. 209 in Port Jervis, NY 12771
http://www.explorationsciencecenter.com

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 (http://creationwiki.org/File:Akronark.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

http://www.invisiblehim.org

Ohio

Akron Fossils & Science Center      
2080 South Cleveland-Massillon Rd.
Copley, OH 44321
http://www.akronfossils.com

Oklahoma

Creation Truth Foundation (& Mobile Museum of Earth History)
PO Box 1435
117 South Main St.
Noble, OK 73068
http://www.creationtruth.com

Pennsylvania

Bible History Exhibits
Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

2424 East Hagert Street
Philadelphia, PA  19125
http://www.bibleandscience.com/index.html

South Dakota

Grand River Museum
114 10th Street
West Lemmon, SD 57638
http://www.grandrivermuseum.org

Tennesee

Ark Museum and Dinosaur Park Project Creation: A Creation Education Ministry
Murfreesburo, TN
http://www.projectcreation.org/ark_museum.php

Wyatt Archeological Museum
2502 Lynnville Hwy
Cornerstone, TN 37047
http://www.wyattmuseum.com/wyatt-museum.htm

Texas

Ark Museum and Dinosaur Park Project Creation:
Creation Education Ministry
Murfreesburo, TN
http://www.projectcreation.org/ark_museum.php

Creation Evidence Museum
Glen Rose, TX
http://www.creationevidence.org

Mt. Blanko Fossil Museum
PO Box 550
124 W. Main
Crosbyton, TX 79322
http://www.mtblanco.com

Museum of Earth History, Creation Truth Foundation
Dallas, TX
http://www.moeh.org; http://www.creationtruth.com

Virginia

Creation Hall Museum
Centre for Creation Studies, Liberty University
1971 University Boulevard
Lynchburg, VA 24515
http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=28351

Washington

Seven Wonders Museum
Silverlake, WA
http://www.nwcreation.net/7wonders/

Wisconson

What’s the Evidence?  (Travelling exhibits)
Wisconsin Fair Booth
Wisconsin
http://whatstheevidencefairbooth.blogspot.ca

Genesis Expo, Portsmouth. Foto by geni (Photo by user:geni) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Europe

United Kingdom      

Genesis Expo
Portsmouth, UK
http://www.genesisexpo.co.uk

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm
Clevedon Road
Wraxall, 
Bristol 
BS48 1PG
http://www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk

Ultimate Questions Creation Trailer (travelling displays)
Creationist Out Reach Ministries
Northern Ireland
http://www.creationoutreachministries.com/com/the-ultimate-questions-creation-trailer/

Germany

Biblemuseum 
Wuppertal, Germany
http://www.bibelmuseum.de

Netherlands

Noah’s Ark
Maasstraat 14
3313 CR Dordrecht
Netherlands
http://www.arcofnoah.org

Portugal

Parque Discovery
Mafra, Portugal
http://www.discovery.pt/index.html

Switzerland

Land Of Genesis Theme Park (Projected)
Genesis-Land AG
Molkereistrasse 1, CH-8645 Jona
Switzerland
http://www.genesis-land.ch/HTML/home_eng.html

Western Pacific 

Australia

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

Hong Kong

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

http://www.noahsark.com.hk

 New Zealand

Creation Museum of Aotearoa/New Zealand  (defunct?)
2 Truby King Drive, Waikouaiti 9471,
Otago, New Zealand
http://abbey-oceania.org.nz/faith/creation_museum
(defunct? Link www.creation-museum.org.nz does not work.

On Creationism’s Myth Making and Recreating Myself

Hi folks!
It’s me again.

YES! IT’S A BLOG POST!

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:

MYTHMAKING IN THE CREATIONIST CONTROVERSY

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.

(more…)

“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 uleth.ca

Thanks!

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!

ARD

Religious Literacy, Diversity & Transformation Week: U. of Calgary, May 7-11

The Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary must be having fun (i.e., panicking) over the all the academic conferring that will go on there in early May with their

Religious Literacy, Diversity & Transformation Week.

www.ucalgary.ca/rels/crc

 

Besides the Pacific Northwest Regional Meeting of the AAR/SBL (May 9-11), and the Research in Religious Studies Conference (May 8-9) they are also teaming up with the U of Calgary’s  Faith & Spirituality Centre and hosting  Chris Stedman, author of “Faithiest“, and Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University.

chrisStedman

Chris Steadman

In his book Faitheist, Chris Stedman makes a passionate argument that atheists should engage religious diversity respectfully. Becoming aware of injustice, and craving community, Stedman became a “born-again” Christian only to encounter staunch homophobia at a time when he was slowly coming to realize that he was gay. The great suffering he experienced might have turned Stedman into a life-long “New Atheist.” But over time he came to know more open-minded Christians, and found that his disdain and hostility toward religion was holding him back from engaging in meaningful work with people of faith. 

As someone who has stood on both sides of the divide, Stedman is uniquely positioned to present a way for atheists and the religious to find common ground and work together to make this world—the one world we can all agree on—a better place. 

Date: Wed. May 7, 2014 
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00 pm 
Location: MacEwan Hall A&B 

Early Bird tickets available until April 15, 2014: 
$10 Students 
$20 Public 
$120 for a table of seven 

After April 15, 2014 

$15 Students 
$25 Public 

Evening will include a lecture, Q&A, table discussion and book signing. Light refreshments and appetizers will be served. 


Also speaking during the week will be Dr. Peter Beyer from the University of Ottawa. A sociologist of Religion, Dr Beyer will present a keynote lecture on the religiously diverse landscape of Canada, its promises and perils.

beyer_lg

 University of Ottawa
Dept of Classics and Religious Studies
Member of the Religion and Diversity Project of Canada

“Religious Diversity in Canada: Secularism, Multiculturalism, Pluralism” with Dr. Peter Beyer

The topic of religious diversity in Canada introduces a number of ambiguities. On the one hand, we appear to celebrate and promote such diversity. On the other hand, religion and the diversity of religion appear to be worrying sources of potential problems and contradictions. Taking its cue from research being conducted under the umbrella of the Canada-wide and international Religion and Diversity Project, this lecture focuses on four central issues: how do we in Canada, as individuals, groups, and institutions understand religious diversity; how do we seek to expressly limit that diversity; why and how does controversy surrounding religious diversity seem to manifest itself more often than not with reference to gender, sexuality and uses of the body; and what might it mean to relate to religious diversity in ways that move beyond simply tolerating and accommodating it?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
10:00am-11:00am
The Loft, MSC 487 (next to Women’s Resource Centre)

Prof. Beyer is also scheduled to be the keynote speaker for RRS Conference on Thursday Night (May 8).

The Religious Literacy, Diversity & Transformation Week is also hosting Leroy Little Bear, of the University of Lethbridge  (oddly enough, I’ve never actually met him!)> He was the first director of the American Indian Program at Harvard University and also for 25 years the Chair of the Native Studies program at the University of Lethbridge.

LeroyLittleBear2

Join members of the Pacific Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature and American Schools of Oriental Research for the Plenary Address and Dinner

Date: Saturday May 10, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Cost: $50.00 (includes buffet dinner)

May Contain Nuts and B.S. (Biblical Studies)

Horray!

dilly-the-dilettante

The Highest Award for Biblical Scholarship (apparently)

No, I haven’t won it (yet). BUT…

My “other” SBL paper got accepted for the Blogging session at SBL San Diego in November! The full title:

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

I’ve been wanting to do a paper for that session for some time, but never got around it, mostly for want of something to say. They do seem to have a lot of fun, though. Anyway, this time I’m in on the goodness.

The Blurb:

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.

I posted about my other “other” paper here.

Research in Religious Studies Conference Call of Papers Reminder

We are again scrambling to get our Research in Religious Studies Conference organized, with some excellent paper proposals rolling in. We are on the look out for more, however! The conference  will be held at the University of Calgary, May 8-9, just prior to the annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Region of the  American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature (May 9-11). Participation is open to undergraduate and Masters level students and papers on any topic touching on religion from any academic discipline will certainly be considered. The deadline is April 4, but we may consider extending it beyond then.

Here’s a few abstracts we’ve already accepted:

“The Dark Messiah and the Devotee:
Salomé, Aubrey Beardsley, and the ‘Decadent Religion of Art.’”

Morgan Hopkins, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

Aubrey Beardsley was a quintessential symbol of fin-de-siècle England, a decade characterized by feverish discourse on sexuality, transition, spiritual ambiguity, decadence, and exoticism. Pre-eminent Beardsleyan scholar, Dr. Chris Snodgrass, has described the artist as being a proponent of the “ruling order of the decadents—an artistic coterie dedicated to the new Religion of Art,” (Snodgrass, 1995). But what exactly is ‘Decadence?’ What is the ‘Religion of Art?’ Furthermore, how do these influences manifest within Beardsley’s praxis? This paper explores not only the nuances and ambiguities of these movements, but also the ways in which Beardsley’s art facilitates a dialogic relationship between them. It considers the extent of his ‘devotion’ through an iconographical and theoretical analysis of six of his illustrations for the English version of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé. This work challenges traditional interpretations not only of the movements, but also of Beardsley himself, and the infamous femme fatale Salomé. Ultimately, it posits the Religion of Art as one of the many new transcendent principles of organization established during the ‘Victorian Religious Unsettlement.’

From Wikimedia.org

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Evolution of Creationism:
A Reaction to Evolutionary Influence in America

Jesse Pawlak, Red Deer College

According to a recent Gallup poll, 78% of Americans believe in some variety of Creationism (Gallup). Of this, 46% believe in a literalistic biblical approach while 32% believe there to be some element of intelligent design within the evolutionary process. (Gallup). With such a staggering number of Americans in favor of some variety of creationism, it may be surprising to learn that American creationism is not the original theory explaining the origins of life. The theory of evolution, in fact, predates the birth of coherent American creationism by over fifty years. American creationism only appears in the early twentieth century in reaction to the spread of evolution in America (Lienesch 8). This paper will discuss the how the three most prominent branches of creationism, (fundamentalist creationism, creation science and intelligent design) emerge in reaction to the spread of the theory of evolution in America. Each branch will be discussed in turn with an emphasis on how the methodology and function of each changes in response to conflict with the theory of evolution.

Stolen from Bay of Fundies

Stolen from Bay of Fundies

 

Anyway, still time to propose a paper. Get to it!

An SBL Paper In Search of the Biblical Flintstones?

The Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship consultation for the 2014 Society of Biblical Literature meeting is getting its sessions in order and it looks like we have some really good papers.

Yabba

Stolen from The Friendly Atheist, who got it from Joel Pett.

The exception is this one, by yours truly:

In Search of the Biblical Flintstones?
Some Thoughts on Creationism, Academic Freedom, and Scholarly Obligation
(Academic Freedom Session)

In early 2014, the famous science educator, Bill Nye, debated Ken Ham, the founder of Kentucky’s (in)famous Creation Museum. This event provided Ham with publicity and badly needed donations and earned Nye criticism for giving the impression that creationism was even worthy of scientific debate. In this paper I argue that secular biblical scholars should be at least as engaged in countering creationism, as are some scientists. Creationist objections to evolutionary and other sciences are not based on science but religion. What is really at stake is not the integrity of science but whether the creationists’ reading of the Bible is internally consistent and reasonable, let alone being the default mode of understanding it. Allowing scientists to carry the burden of refuting creationist claims presents the Bible to the public from polarized parties, neither of which are likely to give much heed to critical Bible research. Biblical scholars are much better trained than scientists in the calling the hermeneutics of creationists into question. Creationists also confront other Christians who maintain that evolution and an earth billions of years old are compatible with their faith. This directly affects some biblical scholars, as a number of Christian colleges are now enforcing compliance with a creationist doctrine. Non-religious biblical scholars should also defend their Christian counterparts against violations of ideals of academic freedom in Christian schools, even if, in the end, they may part ways on a number of issues, including whether “theistic evolution” makes sense. Since publically refuting creationism is not likely to convince many creationists to rethink their views, biblical scholars should direct their engagement with creationism to those who may be sitting on the fence, or have a curiosity about the Bible but no direct familiarity. Besides helping to defend science education from creationists, biblical scholars could also take the opportunity to the legitimacy and relevance of biblical scholarship in the public eye and combat the impression given by many noted science advocates that the Bible and religion is worthy only of denigration and not of serious inquiry as products of human culture.

All of this reminds me of the creationist Lolcat competition I ran a few years back. The winner was Martha G:

 

 

Just when you thought it was safe to get back into Biblical Studies: Dr. Jim gets published again.

Yup, I got an essay published in a new book:

“On the Authority of Dead Kings”
in

Deuteronomy-Kings as Emerging Authoritative Books: A Conversation
edited by Diana V. Edelman
(SBL)

cover

Click the pic to go to the publisher’s website and order yourself a few dozen!

Here is the book’s blurb:

Explore how the past came to address the present and the future and why it became important for emerging Jewish identity.

Experts explore the themes and topics that made Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets appealing to ancient readers leading ultimately to those texts becoming authoritative for Persian and Hellenistic readers. This unique collection of essays focuses on what larger impact these texts might have had on primary and secondary audiences as part of emerging Torah. Contributors include Klaus-Peter Adam, Yairah Amit, Thomas M. Bolin, Philip R. Davies, Serge Frolov, Susanne Gilmayr-Bucher, E. Axel Knauf, Christoph Levin, James R. Linville, and Thomas Römer, and Diana V. Edelman.

Features:

    • Essays focused on why texts became authoritative instead of when they were written or their historicity
    • Two scholars examine each book providing a range of views
    • Coverage of the socio-religious function of emerging Torah in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods
Stolen from http://scottpaeth.typepad.com

Stolen from http://scottpaeth.typepad.com

TOC:

Diana V. Edelman   “Introduction”

Philip R. Davies    “The Authority of Deuteronomy”

Christoph Levin  “Rereading Deuteronomy in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods:  The Ethics of Brotherhood and the Care of the Poor”

E. Axel Knauf    “Why “Joshua”?”

Serge Frolov “The Case of Joshua”

Yairah Amit   “Who Was Interested in the Book of Judges in the Persian-Hellenistic Periods?”

Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher   “Memories Laid to Rest: The Book of Judges in the Persian Period”

Thomas M. Bolin1–2 Samuel and Jewish Paideia in the Persian and Hellenistic Periods”

Klaus-Peter Adam   “What Made the Books of Samuel Authoritative in the Discourses of the Persian Period? Reflections on the Legal Discourse in 2 Samuel 14″

Thomas Romer   “The Case of the Book of Kings”

James R. Linville   “On the Authority of Dead Kings”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are a couple of short excerpts from the beginning of my contribution:

 For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground  
And tell sad stories of the death of kings. (Richard II  3.2:155–156)

Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show. (Terry Pratchett, Going Postal )

The book of Kings tells a story that has all the makings of a great show. It begins with the pathetic end of Israel’s most celebrated king and the rather scandalous rise to power of his successor. Solomon is celebrated as the legitimate and wise king only to have his glorious empire dismembered because of his own religious failings. The following tale of the divided kingdom ends with the destruction of both halves, despite the radical reformation and cultic purge of Josiah only decades before the ultimate fall. It is a story of power, intrigue, clashing dynasties and war set against a theme of divine judgment. Although a bit shy on explicit descriptions of scandalous sexual encounters, the book has its share of seemingly gratuitous violence. Besides the sheer entertainment value of Kings that lies in letting the reader voyeuristically share a god’s eye view on the rise and fall of a number dynasties, empires, prophets, monarchs, tyrants, and charlatans, what did the ancient readers find in it that it commanded enough respect on significant social matters to be copied and recopied over the centuries?

It might seem more intuitive to view the authority of a book about past events to lie in the perceived veracity of its story, but this can only take us so far in understanding the interpretative frameworks in which Kings was placed in the first half of the Second Temple period. While comparative evidence suggests that the presentation of events in Kings would hardly have been discounted, it was not the only presentation that could have won an audience. This essay will view the presence of contrasting histories as part of a social discourse that is always flexible and open-ended; Kings found its favorable reception amongst other documents that also earned a readership. In my opinion, the authority of Kings lies in its utility for constructing relevant meanings, rather than its inscription of ideological points validated by the population as a whole or the powers that be to the exclusion of other points of view. Part of this utility derives from its capitalization on ritual episodes and prototypical events in a myth-making enterprise that allows readers to reflect on the differences between their lives and the various social constructions found in Kings and other texts. Highlighting a few of these essentially mythic, provocative episodes will be the purpose of this essay.

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