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

In this week’s episode, Calogero Miceli discusses his recent contribution to the online Christian Apocrypha resource on the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (http://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/). He explores the little-known account of Peter and the apostles’ journey in which they meet with a pearl merchant named Lithargoel and a physician accompanied by a young man. Near the end of the story the figures turn out to be Jesus which prompts questions about shapeshifting as a literary trope and also what the figure of Jesus’ appearance may have been.  

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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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This week, we start a series of podcasts discussing Tim Whitmarsh's, Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World. In this episode we will discuss how the ancient Greek world differentiated between the sacred and the profane, despite the fact that people embraced polytheism. We will also note that Greeks did not consider their texts as sacred, certainly not in the sense Jews, Christians and Muslims understand their own scriptures. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were not sacred texts even if they are comprised of divine characters; these are rather to be understood as myth. We will end our podcast with an important note on the concept of "mimesis" and how such a practice could be understood as a "battle with the gods" (theomachy), a way to contest their very existence.

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In our third and last podcast dedicated to the "The Second Wave of the New Atheism. A Manifesto for Secular Scriptural Scholarship and Religious Studies", we will answer as to why the authors have framed their manifesto in the context of the New Atheism. This question was asked several times by some of our listeners. We would like to discuss how Avalos and Gagné respond to people who think the manifesto should not be associated to the New Atheism.
   
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This week again, we examine the manifesto written by Hector Avalos and André Gagné entitled: "The Second Wave of the New Atheism. A Manifesto for Secular Scriptural Scholarship and Religious Studies." We invite scholars of religion or scriptural studies who share some of the ideas and would like to become signatories, to contact the authors at the information found on the manifesto's website accessible here.


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Happy New Year to all our listeners! We are back with a new episode of the Inquisitive Minds Podcast. This week, we discuss Part 1 of a manifesto written by Hector Avalos and André Gagné entitled: "The Second Wave of the New Atheism. A Manifesto for Secular Scriptural Scholarship and Religious Studies." The piece was first published on January 7, 2016 on the Bible and Interpretation website. We now have a permanent page where you can find the manifesto and the signatories who have recently endorsed it (read the statement here). Scholars of religion or scriptural studies who share some of the ideas and would like to become signatories, can contact the authors at the information found on the website.

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