Description:In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic situation, C. Derick Varn joins the show (at his request!) to discuss not only political failures but also cultural ones as well. What is the source of our failed imaginations?
A special episode. Todd Pedlar of the Book of Nature Podcast and Professor of Physics at Luther College joins the show to discuss the Coronavirus epidemic and its effects, long-term and short-term, on higher education.
Michael Osterholm on Joe Rogan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZFhjMQrVts&fbclid=IwAR2eWwCzRrTkqpva2n2xcezf2k2W7oUvBtpJ6kf6EmeIhZ7dbGD6HK782tU
CDC report per Vox https://www.vox.com/2020/3/10/21171481/coronavirus-us-cases-quarantine-cancellation
Danny is joined once again by Adam Ray Adkins, also known as Dirt: Son of Earth, for a discussion about apocalyptic visions of artificial intelligence.
Adam’s links: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PRdcZSuCpNo
Theorywave Nights: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVj4V3FHHXFh2vPg0pKgBNA
Danny’s Article on Child’s Play
Danny Anderson is joined once again by C. Derick Varn for another discussion about a Tarkovsky film. Previously we covered Andrei Rublev and Stalker, and this week we discuss Tarkovsky's great 1972 sci-fi masterpiece, Solaris, the story of a sentient planet presents many philosophical problems and maybe even a Lenten meditative practice! Tune in for the fun.
Iowa resident and former Caucus participant, Todd Pedlar, joins the show to discuss the mechanics, the positives, and the negatives of the dreaded Iowa Caucus. (Cover image designed by Melissa Stough!)
Recorded on September 26, 2019 at St. Francis University. Danny Anderson joins a panel discussion with Dr. Arthur Remillard, Dr. Lauri Chose, and Dr. Mark Buckwalter to discuss whether Batman should kill the Joker. Moderated by Kent Tonkin.
Danny Anderson is joined by two of his star students and The Book of Nature's Todd Pedlar to discuss Philip Roth's seminal 2004 novel, The Plot Against America and its relevance to the age of Trump.
Danny Anderson interviews Dr. Jason Carney about his new book 'Weird Tales of Modernity,' which places writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard into a larger discussion about literary modernism.
Live from Charity Con 2019, Danny Anderson welcomes Chris Maverick and Wayne Wise of the Vox Popcast, as well as Chris Buckley and Andy Walsh to discuss how the multiverse contains multitudes of ethical dimensions. Just in time for the DC crossover event on CW.
C. Derick Varn joins the show again to discuss the classic Coen Brothers 2009 film 'A Serious Man.' What does this quirky comedy have to say about religion, Jewish Culture, and why mystery might just be more important to "facts and logic."
Just in time for November 2019 (when the events of Blade Runner were set), Danny and Nathan Gilmour discuss the classic 1982 film and its incredible sequel, Blade Runner 2049. Danny and Nathan discuss, among other things, postmodernism, epistemology, theology, feminism, and much much more.
The comic book writer Alan Moore is kind of a natural subject for this show, since his work engages pretty strongly with each of those categories. On a previous episode, we looked at his Miracle Man comic and today we’ll be looking at V For Vendetta.
Joining me once again today is Angelo Letizia, who you might remember from a previous episode about using Batman to train future Social Studies teachers. Today, he’s got an interesting religious reading of this book and I’m very excited to welcome him back
Danny Anderson is joined by Kristin Filipic and Todd Pedlar to discuss Stephen King's classic horror novel, Pet Sematary. All part of the 2019 Christian Humanist Radio Network Halloween Crossover!
We like Halloween here and today’s episode is about Ghosts and Hauntings. That subject was the winner of a Twitter poll a bit back and we love our listeners to we went with your will. Questions: I think it would be fun to punctuate this show with some good ghost stories every so often. Let’s start. What’s a favorite of yours? What about ghost movies? What role do ghost stories play in our lives? Why do we love them? Ghost stories play big roles in certain aspects of our social lives. Christmas Civil War Ghosts seem to have something to do with cultural memory right? Is there something about ruins here that is important to factor in? Can a place without memory be haunted? Alt-explanations for supernatural phenomenon.
A very special episode recorded live at the 2019 TheoCon held at Messia College. Danny Anderson is joined by Chris Maverick of the Vox Popcast for an in depth discussion of Jordan Peele's films 'Get Out' and 'Us.'
Intro: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Sectarian Review Podcast. Today’s episode is going to focus on a mini-controversy from early July, when Mere Orthodoxy published an essay by Brad East called “Against Pop Culture.” In the essay, East argues (or at least seems to) that Christians should not partake of pop culture as an essential part of their Christian practice. The piece was heavily commented upon in social media, including by Yours Truly, and became one of those “internet things” for a couple of days. The next day, East tagged me and others in a Twitter post that linked to a clarification he wrote and between the two essays, I think that there is a lot to talk about here at the Sectarian Review.
Joining me today to do so is Coyle Neal!
Q1: Before we get into the weeds of philosophy, theology, and pop culture, can we summarize the main points of East’s original article? (Try as much as we can to keep his follow-up out of our heads).
Q2: In the follow-up, East tries to clarify that he was not Against Pop culture per se, but rather against a movement within Christians that supposedly pressures people into consuming more pop culture. What do you make of this idea? It was rather surprising to me as that has not been my experience at all.
Q3: So let’s focus on the original piece, and try to be fair to his full intention. One main point he makes that has some legs for me is the seeming endlessness of binge-watching. Can we talk about how the technology of pop culture delivery might shape us. Medium is message etc…
Q4: What do you make of his generational claim about attention spans and what not? Does pop culture have a corrosive impact on us, making it harder to sit through more difficult,but gratifying material.
Q5: As educators, how much should we push against pop culture and toward the “classics?”
Q6: I want to talk a bit about content here before we go. I am fairly liberal with regard to watching things like horror etc, but there is a debate among Christians about such matters. Where do you fall on the whole “be careful little eyes…” argument?
Danny Anderson is joined by Popular Culture and Theology's Matthew Brake to discuss season 1 of Titans just in time for Season 2. Is there an ethical issue with taking a teenager-based comic and making it VERY ADULT? How does the show engage with questions of theology and community? What makes Batman's work so morally draining for Robin? All this and much more. In addition, learn about an upcoming conference, TheoCon, about popular culture and theology. PLUS, head over and subscribe on Patreon for some bonus conversation about copyright and much more.
In this special episode, Danny interviews J.G. Michael of Parallax Views about Victor Salva, writer director of the Jeepers Creepers horror film franchise. The film has long been a favorite of Danny's but then recently he learned that Salva had been convicted in the late 1980s of sexually abusing a child on the set of his film Clown House. His victim, Nathan Forrest Winters, was the star of that film and is now working on a documentary about his experience. In this show, Danny and J.G. discuss the Jeepers Creepers films in light of Salva's crimes. Seen from this angle, Jeepers Creepers can be seen as a not-so-coded exploration of Salva's own pedophilia.
Social Links for "The Boy" documentary:
For the past couple of years, the #MeToo movement has built momentum and shed a cleansing light on sexual abuse perpetrated by powerful people on countless women and men. Entertainment, journalism, government, business, education. Seemingly no institution or industry has avoided scandal as more and more victims come forward. Joining me today is Mary DeMuth, who has written a book about how this movement has also challenged the Evangelical church and how the Church should respond. Mary is an author, speaker, and fellow podcaster who is passionate about helping people live what she calls a “re-storied” life. A survivor of neglect and sexual abuse, Mary was rescued by Jesus when she was 15, and has spent her life healing from trauma so she can help other not feel so alone. The book is called We Too: How the Church can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis and its published by Harvest House Publishers, coming out on August 13, 2019. And I am absolutely thrilled to speak with her today.
We Too website and other resources
Hi everybody and welcome to another episode of the Sectarian Review Podcast. Today, we’re going quite a bit out of my depth and looking at a recent controversy that Taylor Swift found herself in. I’ve of course heard the name Taylor Swift before, but it’s a genre that has escaped me almost completely. But there is something underneath the situation we’ll be discussing today that really appeals to me and I think it’s perfect for the show because it will, I think, allow us to think about the intersection of political activism, celebrity, and commerce. So this is why I was delighted that Victoria Farmer of the Christian Feminist Podcast suggested we take an episode to explore this really weird moment in pop music.
Regular listeners will know by now that we tend to cover topics here that bounce around Religion, Politics, Pop Culture, Foreign Films, and many things in between. Today our topic is going to focus on a particularly unique institution that crosses a lot of those boundaries: Christian College. I’ve personally spent some time as a student and a professor in this world and I have...thoughts. First, I think that we’re going to have to wrestle with terms here a lot. What do we mean exactly when we say “Christian” for instance? That may sound simple, but it’s wildly complicated. Second, my own opinion is that the Platonic ideal of Christian College is probably without question the best form of education for me and my taste. The practice of creating these institutions, however, often results in troubling consequences.
Let me be clear here. Many people have been hurt by Christian Colleges, just as many people have been hurt by Christian institutions of other kinds. I am absolutely one of those people (I may or may not get into this during the show). Yet, there is something so wonderful about, to use an old warhorse slogan, “integrating faith and learning.”
Today I want to talk about the mass of contradictions that is the Christian College.
Joining me today are Michial Farmer and Michael Gruber (introduce selves).
A discussion about how these issues play out at any school that would even try to align themselves conservatively (and I mean in lifestyle, not the voting booth) would be adding something. For instance how does this play out at say Zaytuna College? Or among any of our Muslim brothers and sisters institutions of higher ed? Do we want to pretend they aren't marking out the same shrinking territory?
I think to smear these schools for an effort that inarguably crosses swords with the entire current of education is a really easy caricature. I mean what do we say "How dare they!?". How dare they what? Enjoy the pluralism that's been championed by those of higher learning?
(Danny) 1. The dangers of demanding “consensus” or “adherence” 2. Just as Christian Colleges scold secular ed for prohibiting diversity, this is what they do themselves under the banner and protection of “Biblical Values”
Danny Anderson returns from hiatus with an episode about why superheroes and horror just don't mix very well. Joining the show today is Dr. Sam Cowling who will discuss some of the philosophical foundations of horror and why they seem to be incompatible with superhero comics. Up for discussion today is Batman, Swamp Thing, Blade, Underworld, and so very much more. Also, there is a bonus discussion about the current boom in horror that is taken seriously by mainstream critics.
That discussion is available to Patreon subscribers, who help make so much happen here. Head over to https://www.patreon.com/sectarianreview for more info on how you can get more content from the show.
In this episode, Danny is joined by Dr. Angelo Letizia to discuss the usefulness of Batman's mythology for teaching civics in American classrooms. Letizia advocates for creative approaches to teaching civics and one of his assignments is having students adapt an image from Batman's oeuvre to a current political event or controversy. At stake in Letizia's approach is an ideological question of whether civic education should be a) about making responsible citizens, b) empowering citizens to participate, or c) created justice-oriented citizens. Comics, for Letizia, becomes a great medium to tap into this justice-centered goal, and Batman provides plenty of fertile soil for the political imagination.
Angelo Letizia on Twitter (Academic Comics)
Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class, Christopher Newfield
"Cultural Acupuncture:" Fan Activism and the Harry Potter Alliance, Henry Jenkins
Popular Culture is obsessed with apocalypse. Avengers: Endgame is the most recent pop drama that explores variations on eschatology, but it is by no means unique in doing so. Joining the show today to discuss this theological concern in pop culture is Joshua Wise, scholar, writer, and podcaster who has two books coming out that explore this very subject: No Avatars Allowed, and Eschatology and Pop Culture. Danny and Josh discuss such topics as Mad Max, the Fallout video game, Zombie Films, Kingdom Come, and much more.
No Avatars Allowed pre-order page
No Avatars Allowed podcast
Theology and Pop Culture Series (Eschatology and Pop Culture forthcoming)
All Ports Open Network
Joshua Wise on Twitter
Based on box office figures, everyone has seen Endgame by now. As required by law, every podcast must have an episode about it. Here is the Sectarian Review take. Our in-house pop culture theologians join the show to discuss the finale to the Infinity Saga. Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Brake of Pop Culture and Theology help Danny discuss: how the the film completes its character arcs; theological analyses of the film's employment of sacrifice; and how the film's treatment of time travel poses potential ethical quandaries going forward. All this and much much more.