Bible in Recent News: Wildfires, Research on ‘Growing’ Churches, and 10,000 Scholars Converge in San Antonio

Bible in Recent News: Wildfires, Research on ‘Growing’ Churches, and 10,000 Scholars Converge in San Antonio

The Bible in Recent News:

  1. Forthcoming research argues that conservative theology, including literal interpretation of the Bible, as well as innovative worship practices explain growth in Canada’s Protestant churches. The research was carried out by David Haskel, Associate Professor, Digital Media and Journalism / Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University and Kevin Flatt, Associate Professor of History at Redeemer University College. The Guardian has a summary. Significantly, “[t]he findings contradict earlier studies undertaken in the US and the UK, which attempted to discover the underlying causes of a steep decline in church attendance in recent decades but concluded that theology was not a significant factor.” Look for the research in the next issue of Review of Religious Research.
  2. November 19–22 saw almost 10,000 scholars attend the annual conferences of the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, Texas. Three members of CODEC were in attendance and participating, including panel involvement and paper presentations.  CODEC Director Pete Phillips presented on “The Power of Visual Culture and The Fragility of the Text” in the SBL session Bible in Ancient and Modern Media. I presented on “From Scrolls to Scrolling: Making the Most of Shifting Modes of Scholarly Communication” in the SBL session Digital Humanities in Biblical, Early Jewish, and Christian Studies. CODEC Research Fellow (soon to be a post-doctoral fellow in philosophical theology at the University of Winchester), Marika Rose was involved in an AAR panel on “Liberation Theologies Group and Religion, Holocaust, and Genocide Group” and presented on “Tongues of Fire, Thrones of Fire: Angels and the Spirit in Dionysius the Areopagite and Thomas Aquinas” in the AAR Christian Systematic Theology Section.
  3. A page of the Bible survived a recent wildfire in Tennessee and happens to contain a verse from Joel (1:19) which reads: “O Lord, to thee will I cry: For the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.” Many news outlets picked up the story, including USA Today.

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