Solidarity with Jews in Light of Heightened Antisemitism

Last year brought yet another extremely disturbing statistic: 2017 marked the highest increase in antisemitic incidents in the US since the first Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents was taken in 1979.  In a statement, Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, stated, “A confluence of events in 2017 led to a surge […]

Ancient Corinth II: Women in St. Paul’s Time

Last week, we examined the deities worshiped in ancient Corinth and saw how influential goddesses, as well as gods, were before, during and after the time of St. Paul. Here we will look at the status and role of women at Corinth, especially how their involvement in society and local cults may have influenced Paul […]

The SBL and its Annual Meeting: Why They Matter to the General Public

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) is one of the premier professional organizations for scholars and students of religion around the world. While “religion” is often equated in the public’s mind with church-going or participation in other religions such as Judaism and Islam, it is also a discipline bounded by scholarly and ethical standards, evidence, […]

How Archaeology Can Assist Early Christian Studies and Why it Matters

In recent years, scholars of the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible – comprised of documents composed between 50 and 150 of the Common Era (CE) – have begun using the tools and interpretations of archaeologists in our quest for the context in which the earliest Christians lived. Since the apostle Paul (a Jew, let […]

Images of Mary in Christian Apocryphal Art

In previous posts (Trinities; When Early Christians Revered a Female Deity; Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2; and The Feminine/Androgynous Jesus), we have dealt to some extent with Mary, the mother of Jesus (also known in Christian tradition as the Virgin Mary or the Mother of God). We have seen that, although there is […]

The Problem of Hyperindividualism and its Impact on American Life

“Hyper” – from the Greek “huper,” meaning over, beyond. “Individualism” – the stance or philosophy that values the moral worth of the individual as well as independence and self-reliance. In the US, individualism generally has a positive meaning and often (or at least should) lead to the development of each person’s fullest potential. Hyperindividualism, on the […]

Thecla, Paul and the Prehistoric Goddess

What do Chicago, Clinton Township, Michigan, and Pembroke, Massachusetts have in common? They are all home to churches named for St. Thecla. Who was Thecla? The story of Thecla is found in the apocryphal book, The Acts of Paul and Thecla, written in the late second century. Church leader Tertullian, writing about 200 in de […]

Roger Ailes, The Media and What We All Need to Know

Most of us who have been paying attention to the news over the past few months are aware that Roger Ailes, the long-time CEO of Fox News, was recently forced out due to sexual harassment complaints. What has emerged from his “take-down” goes way beyond sexual harassment (which is bad enough, of course). A September […]

Images from Philippi

Philippi in northern Greece is an important city for the history of Christianity and a fascinating archaeological site. Here we will highlight a few features that raise important issues for modern contemplation, since Christianity has had such vast influence on the West. I will illustrate these points using photos of mine taken on site during […]