When I started this blog, I imagined it as a place where I might gather and repost—when timely and appropriate—some of my earlier pieces that are “blog-friendly” in form, but scattered to the winds. I happened across one of these today, when I sent one of my students to a special issue of Dharma World … Continue reading We Do Not Have to Live Like Rats Fighting for Scraps
In both of the classes I am teaching this term, I have heard classroom comments about how end-times theologies correlate with "fatalism”—which in turn seems to correlate with some flavor of politics that is Trumpian and/or Republican and/or shading off toward wherever (if anywhere) the alt-right becomes so extreme that our resident criminal in the … Continue reading Against the Stereotype of Assuming That End-Times Believers Are Fatalistic
I don’t want to use this blog for running comments on the news. But I want to note three things today. As everyone knows, Paul Manafort received a 47 month sentence for multiple serious crimes, a slap on the wrist from a judge who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and gave an impression of bias … Continue reading Ashamed…in a Land Where Justice is a Game
In my last post, I argued that “refereed” does not equal good, nor “non-refereed” bad—but rather “refereed or not” and “quality scholarship or not” (alongside other factors) are independent variables with approximately random correlation, at least in the intellectual networks where I do my work. I did not expect slam dunk support for my … Continue reading Dog Park Sex and the Bankruptcy of “Refereed versus Non-Refereed” for Measuring Value
I should not be writing this! I absolutely have better things to do, by almost any measure. Yet I have been asked by higher-ups to clarify which of my publications are “refereed” and which not. Unless I decide simply to resign, which among other things would entail leaving my current students in the lurch, I … Continue reading Against Anti-Intellectual and Counterproductive Ways of Measuring Quality in the Writing of Scholars
Earlier I discussed a reporter who wanted my sound-bite wisdom about “denominations” in the south—whereupon I endeavored to wrestle her question into a form I could answer in 1000 words or less. Yesterday I got a companion request about “agnosticism in the south” from a reporter who writes for a paper grounded in the LGBTQ … Continue reading Another Day, Another Reporter: True and Useful Generalizations About “Agnosticism” in 700 Words or Less
Those proud and few readers who knew about MBE from the outset realize that you have been guinea pigs in an extremely small-scale experiment—one that I told few people about and sometimes pondered setting aside. By now have received sufficient positive feedback, and have enjoyed working on MBE enough, that today I took the plunge … Continue reading Rising Out of Beta Mode!