Don’t Divert with #NYPDLivesMatter

Even if unintentionally, by using #NYPDLivesMatter you’re appropriating a tag that was meant to call attention to the very opposite of your tag and you’re claiming that the heinous act of one rogue, disturbed individual against two lives is equivalent in its audacity to the systemic oppression, harassment, and murder of numerous black lives by […]

The Prince of Peace and Torture

“Sixty nine percent of white evangelicals believe the CIA [torture] treatment was justified, compared to just 20% who said it was not. (Those numbers, incidentally, roughly mirror the breakdown of Republican versus Democratic voters among white evangelicals.) A full three-quarters (75%) of white non-evangelical Protestants outnumber the 22% of their brethren in saying CIA treatment […]


I’m very excited that three of my amigos have won major awards in the past few days. Hats off to Casey Strine, Will Kynes, and Carly Crouch for the good news they’ve all received this week. Casey came out of the same bunch of the Oxford Old Testament posse at the end of the last […]

Critical Scholarship in the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature

I heard about a lot of challenges for the AAR and the SBL during our few days in San Diego, but one of the ones that struck me has popped up in the days since. Russell McCutcheon wrote today: Frankly, I find much of the SBL far better for at least they recognize — almost to a […]

Trust the System

Capital. Protect? Serve? Harass. Beat. Wound. Shoot. Blood. Red. Street. Gutter. Breath. Expire. Next? Who? Us? Them? Protect. Protect. Protect. Capital. Protect. Capital. Poverty. Capital. Poverty. Opposites. Obstacles. Opponents. Poor. Nuisance. Rats. Vermin. Demon! Demonic! Brute. Savage. Beast. Dark. Fear. Kill. Drown. Suffocate. Hang. Remove. Rid. Cleanse. Purify. Capital. More. More. More. Ours. Us. Me. […]

Scholars serving the public: How do we do it the right way?

Some thoughts on writing as a scholar for the public. This piece by David Leonard in Vitae is spot on: public writing is another form of teaching. I imagine I’m not the only one amongst scholars of religion who have experienced what Leonard mentions and have felt some need to justify the desire to write something that is not a […]

Nicholas de Lange Festschrift: More Greek Jewish Studies

A hearty congrats to editors Jim Aitken and James Carleton Paget, but most especially to Nicholas de Lange, the recipient of this fine, not-overpriced Festschrift. Some may be surprised to see who is at the top of the Table of Contents, but Nicholas de Lange has been Amos Oz’s translator for many years and so […]

Visiting Fellowships in Oxford: Israel in Egypt / Egypt in Israel: An investigation of the land of Egypt as concept and reality for Jews in Antiquity and the early medieval period

Now official, this looks to be an exciting programme for 2016, so please consider applying for visiting fellowships! Visiting Fellowships available either one term (minimum 8 weeks) or two terms (6 months), so Jan-March, or April-June, or Jan-June, in accordance with Oxford term times. See info below and contact the organizers whose addresses are listed at […]

Writers Need Tough Friends

If you are one of my close friends, you know how often I complain about how pathetic I feel as a writer. Research, expanding knowledge, and developing new insights are one thing but knowing how to articulate them in a clear — let alone, beautiful — prose is a completely different beast. I’ve always struggled with […]