I am, as always it seems, plugging away at my dissertation. I'm currently working on a chapter about Carpocratian views on metempsychosis (transmigration of souls). It's going a bit slowly, but I think the reorganization I've done will make the chapter better. I've also been writing non-dissertation stuff too.
I wrote a paper for the upcoming FSU Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium titled "Carpocratianism, Authority, and the Communism of Wives." I'll be presenting that next weekend. If you're in town, you should come to the symposium. There will be a lot of great papers and Bruce Lincoln is giving the keynote Friday evening. Some of the ideas in this paper led to the post that went up on Monday on the American Society of Church History's History of Christianity blog, Heresiology as a Zero Sum Game.
A little over a week ago I wrote Are We Fighting a "Religious War" Against ISIS? in response to a CNN interview that President Obama did. Then last Thursday, President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and made comments on violence committed by Christians. The response was swift and largely negative. I wrote On Differentiating Between Christian Violence and Islamic Violence the following day to examine the arbitrary and self-serving nature of such differentiations, which were a staple of the responses. That post was, by my site's standards, wildly popular. Thank you to those who shared it and for the feedback I've received. That post also resulted in my being asked to write for Marginalia Review of Books' MRBlog. My first post, The Rhetoric of Similarity: Republicans, Complementarians, and ISIS, went up yesterday and it looks at the response to the response to President Obama's Prayer Breakfast speech.
Religion is in the news as much these days as ever, but solid analysis is lacking in the pieces produced by large publications (Lawrence O'Donnell's recent segment was a welcome exception). The theme of much of my writing this week has focused on this need and tried, in a small way, to fill this gap.
Image: Leonid Pasternak, The Passion of Creation, via Wikipedia.