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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bishop Wrong Blogs

Well here's something I never thought I'd see, the good bishop is blogging, covering important issues from the Christian version of Brokeback Mountain (“Because there’s only one man whom it’s ok for another man to love”) to ancient concepts of history. Arguably the best blog on the market.

Friday, April 04, 2008

More Bible on the BBC

From the BBC website:
BBC to make six-part Bible series

The BBC has confirmed it plans to make a six-part series dramatising iconic and important stories from the Bible.

The corporation said that the series would be an accessible, entertaining, informative and intelligent guide to the Christian religion's key text.

The international co-production, to be broadcast in 2009, will combine drama and computer-generated imagery.

The BBC plans to hire a well-known actor, whose identity has yet to be disclosed, to narrate the series.

According to the corporation, each episode will concentrate on the humanity, "miraculous experiences" and epic encounters in the Bible's stories.

Four million viewers watched the BBC's Easter dramatisation of The Passion, which retold the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

Something Different from EABS

John Lyons' EABS seminar The Biblical World and its Reception has a sub-theme on music (more precisely pop, rock etc.) this August and I believe he'll have all the details in due course. Here's my abstract and I suppose it is pretty much unlike anything I've done before in the world of academic biblical studies.
Black Monks or Hip Priests? Using Biblical and Religious Language in the Manchester Alternative Music Scene, 1977-1994

The city of Manchester between the late 1970s and the early 1990s is frequently regarded as a major UK centre for alternative music, boasting bands such as The Fall, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, 808 State, Happy Mondays, and Stone Roses, the record label Factory Records, charismatic figures such as Tony Wilson, a major club in The Hacienda, and prominent figures in influential music scenes such as post-punk and acid/rave. While there is increasing intellectual attention paid to this place and period in the history of popular music, it is rarely noted that there was a constant and creative use of the Bible, biblical texts, and religious imagery throughout. Moreover, this use of Bible and religion is notably different between the late 1970s and early 1990s, from being used in the name of dark introspection, cynical observation, nihilism and pessimism to being used in the name of self-congratulation, self-importance and (largely misguided) optimism. This paper will look at the different and diverse reasons for this stark shift by looking at, for instance, the dominant personalities, musical experimentation and trends, changes in drug use, the influence of Thatcherism, the increasing lure of mainstream popular culture, and the changing cityscape of Manchester.

I'll post my SBL Boston abstract soon whether you care or not. That won't be on music but it too will be a bit different from previous stuff. Heavily tied in with next book, Jesus in an Age of Terror.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

More on the resurrection and James Ossuary

Not wanting to go (any further) into debates over the historicity of the resurrection (or indeed the James Ossuary) but an interview with Ben Witherington III has been noted and it makes this comment about the James Ossuary:

...but let me say why this is such an important issue. The James Ossuary is an indirect testimony to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason I say that is you don't brag about being related to Jesus if the last thing that happened to him was that he died on a cross – that was the most shocking way to die in antiquity. So the fact that this ossuary reads, "Jesus the son of Joseph, his brother is Jesus" is very clear that this person is claiming to be related to Jesus and he wouldn't be claiming that if Jesus died on the cross and there was no resurrection.

To cut and paste what I've said elsewhere, I would have thought that all this line of thought could possibly prove is that people believed Jesus was resurrected. But then we know that anyway. If we take Witherington's logic one step further, the earliest Christian literature would not be making such claims about if there was no resurrection, right? If I am being fair, then that would be some leap of logic.