Alan Moore’s Watchmen forever changed the way we view superheroes. Ultimately, the argument of that graphic novel is that the superhero is an inherently fascist figure. Thinking about this got Danny to wondering what on Earth a socialist superhero might even look like. Well, to answer that question, Danny called on Wayne Wise and Chris Maverick from the Vox Popcast. Wayne and Mav both recommended that Danny read Alan Moore’s earlier exploration of this subject, Miracleman. In this podcast, we explore the really complicated publishing history of the most important comic you’ve never read, and then we dive into the book to find out what it is about superheroes that makes socialism a seeming impossibility. Plus, a discussion about postmodernism and Moore’s aesthetic, and the profound religious implications of Miracleman. Plus a major dose of comic book recommendations!
Finally, if you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please do so and also leave us a positive review. Subscription info is available at www.sectarianreviewpodcast.com
An article on Coates’s Black Panther
The October Faction
The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man
Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain
East of West
The Wicked + The Divine
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
On May 22, 2018, American Novelist Philip Roth died at the age of 85. His passing marks the end of an era in American literature, when “serious” fiction and popular celebrity were not entirely distinct, and “important” books had a broad cultural impact. This week, the podcast looks back at the career of one of America’s most important artists. What does Newark, NJ and American Jewishness have to do with Roth’s work? Should he have received that Nobel? What was distinctive about his style and subject matter? What exactly have we lost as a culture, and how might Roth’s approach to fiction help us find it? Michial Farmer of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Matthew Shipe, President of the Philip Roth Society join for this humorous, enlightening discussion about an seminal figure in American letters.
Philip Roth Society
“Remembering Philip Roth: A Giant of American Literature,” by Adam Kirsch
“The Day the Genius Died,” by Megan Garber
“The Plot Against America,” by Chris Gehrz
“What Roth Didn’t Know about Women Could Fill a Book,” by Dara Horn
One more dive into the philosophical and moral depths of Marvel’s Infinity War. For this episode Kristen Filipic and Kim Anderson join the show to discuss Thanos’s utilitarianism against the ethical and theological backdrop of Pope Francis’s encyclical about consumerism and the environment, “Laudato Si.” Tune in to hear: highlights from the first Infinity War episode, some context about “Laudato Si” and how it relates to consumption and Christian ethics, an exploration of the motif of self-sacrifice in the Avengers: Infinity War, the role of Wakanda in this moral play, the difficult realities of a truly “pro-life” politics, and some thoughts about Distributism. As always, please take the time to respond to what you hear!
Kristen Filipic’s “Perfect Balance”
William Cavanaugh on Pope Francis and Economics at Saint Mary’s College
Pope John Paul II “Centesimus Annus”
In 1988 John Carpenter, auteur of genre classics like Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China, wrote and directed a powerhouse cult classic movie called They Live. Starring professional wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, the film crossed the sci-fi, horror, action, and lowbrow comedy genres while making a potent political statement about Ronald Reagan’s America and capitalism in the late Twentieth Century. The film follows an unemployed construction worker who discovers sunglasses that reveal the subliminal messages in our advertising and the alien invaders who are manipulating mankind’s fate. Now, thirty years after its release, what does the film have to say about our world?
Zizek on Ideology and They Live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVwKjGbz60k
William Cavanaugh on Religious Violence - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS2VVLpDyWE
William Cavanaugh on Consumerism - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh22rJpL7zM&t
Special thanks to the band They Live Exclamation Point: Find them and their stuff at the following links:
Live show link:
Recently the United States Congress has passed a law that mandates all podcasts to do an episode on Infinity War (Disney’s pernicious influence, no doubt).
So for this episode, good patriot Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour and Kristen Filipic to discuss the biggest superhero movie of them all. Why is it that this movie has struck such a powerful chord with moviegoers? What are the theological questions it asks? What does death really mean in this universe? Plus, Pope Francis makes his way into this one!
In 2013, the late Mark Fisher wrote an essay that immediately became a lightning rod in Left politics. “Exiting the Vampire Castle,” took aim at a leftism which Fisher saw as replacing class interests with a moralizing, liberal identity politics. In many ways, the essay predicted the aftermath of Trump’s election and the Clinton/Sanders debates. More importantly, however, it offers us a chance to think about how political discourse is changed by social media. Joining the Sectarian Review Podcast for this episode is C. Derick Varn. In addition to his long history of being involved in leftist political debates, Varn has special insight into this particular essay, as he was one of the editors who originally commissioned it in the first place. Sit back and take a deep dive into a fascinating conversation about political discourse.
“Exiting the Vampire Castle,” by Mark Fisher
“Out of a Castle, Into a Pit,” by C. Derick Varn
Russell Brand Versus Jeremy Paxman on the BBC
For this special May 1 edition of the show, Danny Anderson and Nathan Gilmour discuss a new book by Plough Publishing. In celebration of his upcoming canonization, Plough has published a series of homilies by Archbishop Oscar Romero called The Scandal of Redemption. Romero, who was assassinated in 1980 for his outspoken defense of El Salvador’s economically and politically oppressed citizens, was a divisive figure in Catholicism in his life. His political work, inspired in large part by the murder of his friend, Father Rutilio Grande, identified him with Liberation Theology for many Christians, who feared this movement’s association with Communism. The truth about Romero’s beliefs is much more nuanced and complex, however. Through his homilies (delivered as radio addresses to the nation’s poor), the truth about Romero’s political beliefs, and their intricate relationship to Catholic Theology, is revealed. The show wishes to thank Plough Publishing for providing exam copies of this wonderful book.
Also, don’t forget to submit a proposal to the upcoming Mount Aloysius College Conference on Teaching. If you want to learn more about effective teaching methods, this conference is a wonderful opportunity, and Danny Anderson would love to meet you in person! Proposals due by May 18 (see link below).
The Scandal of Redemption, by Oscar Romero
Torture and Eucharist, by William T. Cavanaugh
The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander
Mount Aloysius Conference on College Teaching
Happy Earth Day, 2018! For this special episode, Danny is joined by his brilliant wife, Kim Anderson for a conversation with Brett Chamberlin from the Story of Stuff Project. Founded in 2007 with Annie Leonard’s film of the same title, which has received more than 50 million views, the Story of Stuff Project seeks to provide educational and organizational resources for combating the damaging effects that consumerism has caused the planet and the economy. Included in the discussion: the deep problems our consumerist mode of capitalism causes to our planet; how Nestle is able to put untold millions of gallons of water into its plastic bottles; what citizens can do to break these destructive cycles; and what role Christians and other people of faith can play in providing better stewardship of the planet.
Story of Stuff Project website
Story of Stuff Video
Videos about the Nestle water extraction
Faith-based Program for Christian Teens
Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s divisive 2011 novel is the subject of this episode. Jordan Poss of Piedmont Technical College and Nathan Magee of Mount Aloysius College join Danny for this discussion. Cline’s novel, though initially beloved suffered the scorn of critics in the wake of Gamergate. How has Spielberg’s adaptation addressed those concerns? What is it about the 1980s that fosters such nostalgia right now? What political position does this film take on consumerism and corporations? Exactly what kind of an artist is Spielberg and why is he obsessed with Stanley Kubrick? All this and much much more!
Constance Grady, “The Ready Player One
Inkoo Kang, “Ready Player One Is a Feat of State-of-the-Art Pop Culture Navel-Gazing”
Yuval Leven The Fractured Republic
Warren Ellis Transmetropolitan
If you’ve been following political news lately, you probably know that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has redrawn its congressional map after finding the previous version to be illegally gerrymandered. This was hailed as a victory for democracy in most circles, but lost in the celebration was the chaos that the decision brought to this year’s congressional races. Candidates who had been running for the better part of a year in one district were suddenly thrust into completely different districts just weeks before the primaries. Joining Danny to discuss this is Tom Prigg, Democratic candidate for Congress, who has lived this chaos first hand. Learn about Tom’s unorthodox background (neuroscientist, sniper, stuntman, iceberg climber), his motivation for running, and what the re-districting experience has been like for him and his campaign.
FiveThirtyEight on PA’s new districts
Controversial Politico article about Johnstown
Johnstown’s response to the Politico article
Tom Prigg’s response to the Politico article
Tom Prigg’s Campaign site
Listen to this episode to learn all about Chaim Potok's classic novel The Chosen. The book, which investigates the intricate tensions between religion, faith, and the intellect, follows the story of Danny Saunders and his move away from Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. What does this story have to say about faith and the life of the mind? Is there a way for the intellect to contribute to faith? How might post-Christendom Christianity think about these intersections? All this and much more on the latest Sectarian Review.
An all-star lineup of geeks from the Christian Humanism Radio Network for this one. David Grubbs of the Christian Humanist Podcast and Charles Hackney of the Book of Nature Podcast both join Danny for a lively discussion about Quatermass and the Pit. The 6-part BBC miniseries aired in 1958/59 and has been an enduring classic in the sci-fi genre ever since. Furthermore, the influence of this series cannot be overstated, clearly inspiring artists like Stephen King and John Carpenter, and works like 2001, The X-Files, and a great deal of the “Ancient Alien” phenomenon. What makes this serial so effective? What are the philosophical and religious implications of its storyline? What are the connections with Dr. Who? What did Hammer Films do with these same tales? Are we all really just “Nazi Space Bugs” as Charles Hackney puts it?
Bonus: don’t forget to check out the upcoming Mount Aloysius College Teaching Conference! Details here: https://www.mtaloy.edu/teachingconference/
Quatermass and the Pit on YouTube
The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort
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
Marvel Studios’ latest film, Black Panther, has been a blockbuster of the highest order. A primarily black film, it has torched the box office and has started a great conversation about race, politics, and representation in cinema. Joining Danny to discuss this film is Chris Maverick, a comics scholar who works with such questions. Hailed as a revolutionary film, just how radical are the film’s politics? Does this film, like other Marvel ventures, simply argue for a more pleasant status quo? How important is the representation of black people in this movie? Danny and Chris discuss all this and much more. How did Iron Man set the tone for the typical Marvel cinematic plot? Has Iron Man’s political stance basically set the political agenda for all the films that follow it? Does Black Panther subvert historical colonial narratives? This is a big, fun-filled episode. Join in on the conversation!
Washington Post Video about Representation and Black Panther
Invite to the Mount Aloysius Conference on College Teaching
Quasi Duo Fantasias: A Straussian Reading of Black Panther - by Zizek
Kaila Philo: Fear of a Black Universe
Christopher Lebron: Black Panther is not the Movie We Deserve
Adam Serwer: The Tragedy of Erik Killmonger
Chris Maverick’s Blog
Jumping back into the world of conspiracy theory, this episode of the show finds Danny and Coyle Neal discussing a book called Sacred Scroll of Seven Seals, by the pseudonomous author, Judah (link below). The book has a rock-hard prophetic Christian worldview (very reminiscent of "Rock Music Seminars" and End Times preachers. It constructs an all-encompassing theory of history as a Satanic plot by elites (called "The Order" here) to control and manipulate God's natural creation and order. The book shares much with secular conspiracy theory, but twists common conspiracy tropes into a peculiar religious box. The show explores the patterns of conspiratorial thinking as well as its connection to a prophecy-driven approach to Biblical exegesis. In what ways do prophecy-minded people share a conspiratorial style? Aren't we all susceptible to this type of thinking?
Danny's four qualities of the Conspiratorial Style:
1. Conspiracy as an instrumental reading of current or historical events.
2. Obscuratism in style (an insider's Gnosticism)
3. Research with an "outward trajectory." Rather than seeing a thing as in and of itself, the conspiracist will point outward to broader, global connections.
4. A twisting of logic and fact to suit an a priori conclusion.
Sacred Scroll of Seven Seals
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Michial Farmer, of the Christian Humanist Podcast, joins Danny Anderson for a discussion about U2 and REM, two titans of American music. When considering the “Alternative Music” radio format of the 1990s, what role did these two bands play in shaping an immensely popular style of music? What relationship do these groups have with the punk movement of the 1970s? What archetypes do these bands establish for the Alternative music that would follow in their footsteps? Why does U2 seem like a superhero team, while REM embraces privacy? Is one better than another? All this and much more. And bonus coverage! Stay to the end to hear about Victoria Farmer’s personal encounter with REM!
Subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave us a nice review. Also, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
In this episode, Danny is joined by Chris Burlingame to discuss the politics behind the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho. The novel, which follows Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman, included Donald Trump as a central figure. Mary Harron's film adaptation, however, completely eliminates his presence. What motivated such a decision? Listen and find out about how the film adapts the novel in order to tackle issues of structural inequality, sexism, and white privilege. What can this film teach us about Trumpism today? Plus, NEW THEME MUSIC! Thanks to the Blind Revelators for providing us with our new theme song. Find their music here: https://theblindrevelators.bandcamp.com/
Special thanks to Andrew Burlingame for providing the cover art for this episode.
Subscribe to the show on your favorite podcatcher and leave us a nice review. Also, join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
When Marvel Studios pulled the coup that belatedly brought everyone’s favorite web-slinger into its Avengers-heavy universe, fans cheered. Danny, a life-long Spider-man fan was elated and couldn’t wait to talk about the movie for the Sectarian Review Podcast. Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast rallied to join in for this podcast, which for various logistical reasons is finally being released about 6 months after it was recorded. So our show may not be timely, but have a listen anyway!
And as always subscribe to the Sectarian Review Podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
Big Reveal! Why is the Christian Humanist Podcast called “the Flagship?”
Leaving the origin story behind. Nod to Ultimate and a recruitment story. Reworking mythologies.
Spoiler Alert!!! Sorry it’s late.
Donald Glover is also Childish Gambino, Anderson.
Salon.com goes behind a paywall (You pay with your soul)
Spider-man as a local rather than a global hero
Damage Control (an Easter egg for Gilmour)
The philosophical ramifications of withholding the “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” origin story.
Aristotle on greatness
Tony Stark as neoliberalism with arms and legs
Michael Keaton. Stunt casting at its finest.
The Vulture gets an origin
Vulture as a parallel to Tony Stark
Tony Stark as techno wizard with no production-line
Vulture in a gritty warehouse as a quasi-revolutionary
DC as myth/Marvel as material
What motivates the Vulture?
The suburbs implicated in the Vulture’s crimes
Solving problems in the city WITHOUT DESTROYING THE CITY
Where does Homecoming rank in Spider-man films?
Oikos and Idolatry in Spider-Man: Homecoming - Christ and Pop Culture
This episode explores one of the most divisive movies in the Star Wars franchise. Upon its release, The Last Jedi has been superbly received by critics, yet reviled by certain members of the massive Star Wars fan base. What is behind these polarized opinions? Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Magee, Director of Theater at Mount Aloysius College, and together these rebels seek answers from across the galaxy. What are the legitimate problems with this new take on the Star Wars formula? How do these reasonable complaints differ from the vitriolic reactions of “fans?” Plus, listener feedback, some astounding predictions for 2018 and our latest host-recommendations! Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and at sectarianreviewpodcast.com
“The Last Jedi Isn’t For the Fans” by Andrew Kahn
“Sense of the Faithful Says There’s Something Amiss About ‘The Last Jedi’” by Charlie Camosy
Merry Christmas! And enjoy this funny and insightful critique of some truly Bad Christmas Songs. A super-sized panel (Jay Eldred, Jordan Poss, Carter Stepper, Megan Von Bergen, and Todd Pedlar) join Danny to discuss the following songs (and a few more):
“Wonderful Christmas Time”
“Mary, Did You Know?”
“Away in a Manger”
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
Our Criteria for judging bad Christmas songs:
“Mary, Did You Know: A Mere Orthodoxy Symposium”
Patton Oswalt on “Christmas Shoes” (Explicit)
The Bad Songs:
Wonderful Christmas Time
Mary Did You Know?
Away in a Manger (by the despicable Pentatonix)
Do They Know It’s Christmas?
The Good Songs:
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Original Version)
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming (English)
Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming (German)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
A discussion about the all-time great Tarkovsky film Andrei Rublev. Learn about how Tarkovsky made a profoundly religious film in the Soviet system. How does this film reflect on the intersection between politics and religion? What special contributions to Christianity has the Orthodox tradition provided? Is Andrei Rublev the quintessential Christian Humanist film? C. Derick Varn returns for this enlightening discussion.
Has the Radical Left finished cannibalizing itself?
Protestants and Radicals (not so different).
A plug for Andrei Rublev as a Christian Humanist ideal.
Tarkovsky’s career: a religious filmmaker in the Soviet system.
The structure of Andrei Rublev the film.
A plug for Derek’s forthcoming book of poetry.
A brief history of the formation of the Russian state.
Listener question from Twitter-follower Joe McClure.
The specificities of Orthodox Christianity.
There are several versions of this film and Martin Scorsese is involved.
Tarkovsky’s philosophical ideas: Art exists within imperfection, Experience and knowledge must be gained individually, polished art inhibits personal experience, Learn to love solitude.
Andrei Rublev’s plot
The tradition of the jester in pre-Russia.
Theophanes the Greek and the passing down of religious tradition
The Passion instantiates in Russia
An encounter with pagans
The Orthodox discomfort with wrath and punishment
“Oh my God, he made this under Khrushchev!”
Using the atheist state to perpetuate the Gospel
The Last Judgement
Parallels between Andrei Rublev and Game of Thrones
The Holy Fool enters and becomes Rublev’s conscience
A Monk draws blood
Theophanes challenging theology
In the midst of art, theology through chaos
Salvation through the Holy Fool
Kiril’s broken return to God
Difference between Bergman and Tarkovsky
Bell-making as a transcendent act of faith through art
Making art as a God-given role
The return of the Holy Fool
Cut to color and the actual work of Andrei Rublev
Kierkegaard as philosophical grounding
Redemptive work of art
That balloon scene!
Humans are both divine and fallen
How do you film “faith?”
Derek’s boredom with Leftism
A show for anyone interested in education. How much should “passion” dictate the path a student takes in their studies? Is Passion really enough? What about work ethic, logic, and pragmatics? Danny Anderson of Mount Aloysius College is joined by Todd Pedlar of Luther College and Nathan Gilmour of Emmanuel College to discuss a concerning trend in student psychology. Is “passion” merely a product of the College Admissions Industrial Complex and its resulting arms-race? Are there better terms we could use? All this and more on the latest Sectarian Review Podcast.
Genesis of the subject - What is “Passion-Driven Education”
A Brief History of “Passion”
Jane Austen and the Romantics
Is College a natural fit for Passion-Driven Education
Class issues, the “Selective College Arms Race,” and Cultural Capital
“Being Radical for Jesus” at the CCCU College
Passion at a “Jock School”
Perverting our passions
Curiosity trumps Passion
The roots of the college major
The pursuit of passion as a quest for “Authenticity”
When gifting and passion don’t match
Vocation as service to others, passion as quest for self
Why we read Plato, a soliloquy by Nathan Gilmour
The Bruderhof as a form of living in community
Is Reason pragmatic and instrumental or the grounds for a vision of the transcendent?
Service as antidote to Passion
A shout-out to one of Anderson’s students!
Physics as part of the human experience
The Luther College Mission Statement
How institutions push against our ideals
Twitter Questions Part II
Am I weird if I have no passion?
Calling as a marathon, not a sprint
The difference between Passion and Vocation: called, or nuts?
Doing a podcast for free (but if you want to give me money…)
Martin Luther on marriage
Gilmour gets BLEEPED!
Teaching Malamud and Kafka
“It’s all in Plato, it’s all in Plato”
Having a multitude of callings
Quote from Werner Heisenberg that Todd left out of the show but wanted to share, "[w]hat we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning"...
Recorded live at the 2017 Mount Aloysius Charity Comic Con, Danny is joined by Wayne Wise for a discussion about the history, ethics, and thrills of children in horror. Focusing on the recent remake of Stephen King’s It and Stranger Things, the conversation covers the many ways that children have inspired and consumed horror films. How do children defy rationality? What does Capitalism have to do with this? Why the current rabid nostalgia for the 1980s? All this and much more.
Introducing Wayne Wise
History of children in horror
Children possessing special knowledge that adults don’t have
Mythology, fairy tales, and horror
Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew, too
The horrors of the 1970’s
The 1980’s as an adventure-filled wonderland
It and the search for community
The problem of depicting violence against children
Stranger Things unexpected success
Conspiracy Theory’s hold over our imaginations
The sanitization of contemporary children’s entertainment
Wayne’s book, King of Summer
The enduring allure of King Arthur
Danny’s theory of the “pre-modern”
The moral function of violence
Questions from the audience:
Adam Walsh and America’s Most Wanted?
Stand By Me?
Taboo and subliminal fear of women?
Info about Wayne Wise and his work
Danny’s essay about Christians watching It