Inquisitive Minds Podcast Critical Thinking on History, Religion, Politics and Culture

This is the last episode of a three part series on the Gospel of Thomas. This week, André Gagné discusses how recent research on the Nag Hammadi codices can shed light on the possible context of the Thomasine gospel. In this episode, Gagné notes important questions have been raised by Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott in their book, The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices (Mohr Siebeck, 2015), which can also be helpful in gaining a better understanding on the prodiction milieu of Thomas. In paying attention to the codicological features of the tractates, for example, one might gain insight into who owned the codices and what purpose they might have served.

*Please note that this is our 100th episode! We wish to thank all of our listerners throughtout the years. This episode is the last one of the season. We will resume our podcast around mid-September. Have a great summer and we hope you can take this time to re-listen or catch up on past episodes!

 

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This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, André Gagné continues his series on the Gospel of Thomas and will focus on the question of its interpretation. Since its discovery, most scholars have studied Thomas from a diachronic perspective, in order to uncover its sources and milieu. Unfortunately, very little research has been done on the possible meaning of this collection of saying.

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In this week's episode, André Gagné will be giving a basic introduction to the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus attributed to a certain Didymus Judas Thomas. This enigmatic text is part of a series of tractates called the Nag Hammadi Codices and was found in Egypt in 1945. Since its discovery, scholars have endeavoured to uncover the place of writing and the sources of these sayings, which in many cases are similar to those found in the Synoptic gospels and other New Testament writings, as well as in several early Christian texts.

 

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Are there stories about Jesus outside of the New Testament? Definitely! This week, Calogero Miceli will discuss such stories found in what is commonly known as Apocryphal Christian Literature. In particular, he will look at an apocryphal text entitled "The Epistle of Christ from Heaven". He recently published an article on this story of Jesus in a book edited by Tony Burke and Brent Landau, New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures: Volume 1. (Eerdmans, 2016).

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We are so happy to be back! We hope that listeners enjoyed the summer, and that some of you had time to catch up on past episode. As we ease into fall, we decided to share some of our current and future projects, and also say a few words about upcoming events that could of interest to our listeners.

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In this episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we have decided to discuss a chapter from Russell T. McCutcheon's book, The Discipline of Religion: Structure, Meaning, Rhetoric (2013). Our podcast focuses on chapter 6 entitled, "Alienation, Apprenticeship, and the Crisis of Academic Labor." This section addresses important questions related to the discipline of religious studies and the current expectations placed on graduate students if they wish to have a shot at an academic job! McCutcheon rightly notes that, "... pre-professional candidates must meet such professional standards as peer-reviewed publication, excellence in teaching, and public presentation of their research at conferences before even gaining entrance to the profession. It was and still is a market in which candidates may very well have a more extensive publication record than many of the people interviewing them. It is a market in which, at many schools, it takes far superior credentials to get a job interview (let alone the job!) than it might have taken one's interviewers to have been awarded tenure."

Please note that this is our last podcast of the season. We will resume our episodes around mid-September. Have a great summer and hope you can take this time to re-listen or catch up on the podcast!


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After interviewing Dr. Hector Avalos during our last two episodes of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, we decided to do a short recap on some of the topics covered at our recent Religion and Violence conference, held at Concordia (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) last June. In this episode, André Gagné, Calogero A. Miceli and Costa Babalis briefly discuss the content of their papers and the purpose for hosting such a conference. Please note that an edited volume of the papers is currently in the works. Listeners will be informed in the coming weeks when the publication will be available for purchase.

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A recent colloquium was held at l'Université Laval in Québec City on May 29-31 on the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts after 70 years. Andre Gagne and Calogero Miceli were among the list of presenters at this event. This week on the Inquisitive Minds Podcast, they share a few words on the importance of this discovery for scholars who study the history of early Christianity, as well as a brief overview of their own conference papers.

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This week, we speak once again with Brice C. Jones on his PhD experience and his work as a papyrologist. In our second interview, Brice explains the challenges of PhD comprehensive examinations, and we also discuss issues related to the current editions of the New Testament. We end the episode with his perspective on the Green Collection, especially in relation to the supposedly first-century fragment of Mark's gospel.

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This week we interview a special guest, Brice C. Jones, former co-host of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast and newly minted PhD. Brice is a historian of Antiquity and specializes in the fields of papyrology and Early Christianity. In this podcast, we asked Brice about his academic journey as a Graduate student and his doctoral research. We also talked about specific aspects of his research on amulets and textual criticism. 

Please note that from now on episodes of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast will air every two weeks.

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