Recently President Donald Trump caused a minor stir by signing Bibles in Alabama. The reaction was swift and predictably driven by either outrage or defensiveness. In this episode Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Brake of Popular Culture and Theology to discuss the situation with some nuance. Some topics covered: what is so special about an autograph anyway? Is the bound book something sacred to be defaced in the first place? How much of this has to do with Donald Trump's moral character? If another, less odious president were to sign a Bible would the backlash have happened? All this and much much more.
"Trump's Bible signing called Southern Tradition"
"Most Christians find Trump Signing Bibles Inappropriate"
"Yes Trump Signed Bibles in Alabama But it isn't as Strange as You Think"
In this episode Danny Anderson interviews Stephen Waldron ad Ben Crosby of the new podcast "Theology and Socialism." Waldron and Crosby approach Christian Socialism from a much more traditional and even orthodox theological perspective than many Left Christians do and this gives their show a distinctive feel that makes them perfect guests for Sectarian Review. How does a traditional Protestant Christian arrive at socialist politics? How does the book of Exodus provide an understanding of the rest of the Bible? What is socialist Vacation Bible School? All this and much more.
Theology and Socialism Podcast
The Crucifixion by Fleming Rutledge
What might the radical Left gain by incorporating religious language into its arguments? Joining the show today is Ed Simon, whose article “A Gospel for the Left” asks just that question. What is it about theological language that speaks to the oppressed in ways that technocratic cultural studies jargon cannot? What can the Left learn from liberation theology? How does Liberalism operate as a kind of secular religion? And finally, is there a sincerity problem in Leftists utilizing sacred vocabulary? All this and much more.
Ed Simon’s “A Gospel for the Left”
Link to Ed’s new book, America and other Fictions
Posted by Danny Anderson
Recently, Netflix produced a documentary that told the little-remembered story of a cult and its misadventures in creating a city in the Pacific Northwest. The documentary, called Wild Wild Country, follows the expoits, controversies, and crimes of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his Rajneeshi cult as they create a city in the wilderness outside Antelope, Oregon. Led by the Bhagwan’s chief lieutenant, Ma Anand Sheela, the group created a remarkable city from scratch, but fell into conflict with the local community, leading to a series of events which culminated in several major crimes. Joining Danny for this episode is first-time contributor Christopher Pipkin of Emmanuel College, and Todd Pedlar of Luther College and the Book of Nature Podcast. Pedlar also happens to have lived near the Rajneesh community during the controversy and brings a personal reflection to the discussion about cultural and religious bigotry, the marriage between religion and capitalism, and the power of cults.
Wild Wild Country: On One Hand, and On the Other Too
Wild Wild Country Explains Religious Freedom in America
Wild Wild Country and the Dangers of Extremism
Inspired by our recent episode on Elon Musk, this show explores the nightmarish futuristic vision of the class Fritz Lang film, Metropolis. Learn all about the background of this film’s socialist politics and groundbreaking cinematography. Still stunning to look at 90 years later, this 1927 masterpiece has influenced countless science fiction films since its release. What does the film have to say about technology and the mechanization of mankind? Is it a transhumanist fantasy or nightmare? How does this film make use of religious imagery in order to make the case for its socialist politics? Is the heart the mediator between head and hands? Plus, sexy robots! All this and much much more. Todd Pedlar of the the Book of Nature Podcast and Micah Redding of the Christian Transhumanist Society join for this great discussion about an essential film.
Wizards and clerics rejoice! This episode explores the wonders and possibilities of the classic role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons. Joining Danny for this show is Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Will Thomas-Clapp, a Baptist minister who organizes a game for other pastors. In the days since the Satanic Panic, how has D&D made such inroads to Evangelicals? What role do “theater of imagination” games like D&D play in the world of massive online gaming? How have misogyny and racism threatened to destroy gaming communities? What can playing such games do for the imagination and interpretive strategies for preachers? All this and much much more in this very special episode of the podcast.
In this episode, Danny is joined by Dr. Tony Dragani, Professor of Religion at Mount Aloysius College. Listen for an informative, though-provoking exploration of a form of Catholicism you may not even know exists: Eastern Catholicism. Learn about the initial fracture between Rome and the East and how some Eastern traditions eventually made peace with the Pope of Rome. In addition, learn about what the ancient, even alien, traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy and Catholicism offer to the modern subject. And what on Earth is an “Uberdox” Christian? As always, remember to subscribe to the show via iTunes and leave a review. Danny will read your feedback on air. In addition, like our Facebook page and add to the conversation there.
Dr. Dragani’s website about Eastern Catholicism
Dr. Dragani’s fantasy writing community: Mythic Scribes!
If you've ever wondered about the creative process, this show is for you. Fan favorite C. Derick Varn joins the show to discuss his new book of poetry, Apocalyptics, just released by Unlikely Books. Learn about how Varn’s Marxist politics and unique religious background come together in this collection of poems that “reveal.” Varn’s book is a fascinating adaptation of traditional religious themes and in this episode, he tells us about his process and the formal exploration of intersections between politics, history, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism.
Unlikely Books page for Apocalyptics
Apocalyptics Facebook Page
In this episode of the podcast, Danny is joined by Rob Osborn to discuss an essay called “Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker: A Scandal of Self” by Martyn Wendell Jones, which recently appeared in the Weekly Standard. By using the story of the Bakkers’ rise and fall, Jones introduces us a form of religious devotion called “Religious Enthusiasm.” Learn how the Bakkers’ PTL Club fits into a long tradition of Christianity which emphasizes personal experience over liturgy and theology. What does the Bakker story tell us about televangelism? How does the apocalyptic imagination of Jim Bakker’s new show help us trace a shift in Evangelical culture? Are there other ways in which “Religious Enthusiasm” lives on, unnoticed, today?
“Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker: A Scandal of Self” by Martyn Wendell Jones
Mount Aloysius College Teaching Conference info
James Isenhower of the Everything is OKpodcast joins Danny for a discussion about Christian culture’s reliance upon celebrity. What’s valuable and what’s pernicious about this practice? A quasi-sequel to our previous “Celebrity Liberalism” episode, we leave no stone (a few at the most) unturned in our exploration of Celebrity Culture’s invasion of the Christian imagination.
All about the Everything is OK podcast
Podcasting as “fluffing your own ego”
Potential problems with celebritism in xtianity
The poisonous effects of the American Dream and the elevation of the self
What kind of celebrities are we talking about?
Sports and Christianity (God wants Auburn to win)
Christian Persecution Complex
Zach Hoag on Celebrity Christianity
Celebritism in Lefty Christianity as well
Pastor as celebrity
HGTV’s Joanna Gaines and Celebrity as sign of God’s blessing
“Celebrity as an excuse to sanctify things that shouldn’t be sanctified”
Celebrity as ambassador to systemic injustice
“You want a country founded on Christianity”
Q: Are we not celebrities? A: We are podcasters!
Tony Hale as a better version of Christian celebrity
Celebrities in their cars making cell phone videos
Danny staying in the institutional church
Sharing Pharoah Dave Ramses stories (H/T Nathan Gilmour)
James destroys argument x on social media
When Celebrity Christianity Backfires
Calling Out Celebrity Christianity & Counterfeit Justice
Tony Hale talks about being a Christian in Hollywood
The Gathering Testimony: Joanna Gaines
Celebrity isn’t just harmless fun – it’s the smiling face of the corporate machine | George Monbiot
everything is ok
Danny once again welcomes Coyle Neal from the City of Man Podcast to discuss that wiggly, squishy, zany concept of “Authenticity.” Learn about Jonathan Edwards and his concept of authenticity and the use and abuse of external standards. Was Emerson “the great villain?” Can you be “spiritual but not religious?” What does Sheryl Sandberg actually believe? Have postmodernists rediscovered truth in the Age of Trump? Lionel Trilling, Sincerity and Authenticity. Authenticity as performance. Is the House Church movement suffering from Authenticity overload? Coyle authentically begs listeners to write their prayers down. Authenticity that undermines art. Danny mangles Walter Benjamin. Stephen King’s writing advice and art. Danny can’t distinguish Foucault from Barthes. Donald Trump as the perfect embodiment of Authenticity. Obama versus Hillary: writer throw-down. What is the moral cost of insincerity? The fakeness of talk radio and the American media. All this and much more!
Obama Bests Clinton At Craft of Writing - The New York Sun
America’s First Postmodern President
This fake TED Talk about nothing might be the best you've ever seen
Sheryl Sandberg: The Importance of Authentic Communication - YouTube
Jonathan Edwards: Religious Affections
David Wells: The Courage to be Protestant
Neil Cole’s ChurchPlanting
Daniel Franklin: Politics and Film
Francis Schaeffer: The God Who is There
Of what use is the "Evangelical" label in the age of Donald Trump and the Christian leaders that John Fea terms "Court Evangelicals?" Does it still maintain a theological meaning or has it devolved into, as Danny says, "Theocratic Libertarianism?" Coyle Neal, from the City of Man podcast joins Danny for a historical, philosophical, and political discussion about contemporary Evangelicalism. Is there still room for the "1910 Evangelical?"
Also, at the beginning of this episode, Danny announces the first-ever Sectarian Review listener contest! Click here for details.
Links for Curious People:
Coyle Neal's Review of The American Patriot's Bible.
"Defining 'Evangelical' by Jonathan Merritt.
"What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?" by John Fea