Religious Language in Five Points

Dr, Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament at Northern Seminary, asked me to write an answer to the following prompt, for his substack newletter: What five/? things can Christians learn about how they use theological language and talk about God? You can read my response here.And don't miss the conversation in the … Continue reading Religious Language in Five Points

All Abuse is Religious Abuse

Abusive language is a type of linguistic interaction that demeans, humiliates, mocks, belittles, insults or otherwise controls another living being in a way that violates a set of shared sacred ideals. Because of this, I believe all abusive language to be inherently religious, though there are certainly more and less damaging versions. The more intensely … Continue reading All Abuse is Religious Abuse

“Covidism:” How calling something a religion can act as a smokescreen

This morning I came across a Twitter hashtag I hadn't seen before, #CoronaReligion. One of the threads participating in this Discourse especially caught my attention, as a group of Tweeters last month proclaimed that "The fastest growing religion in the world is COVIDISM." Hashtag CovidCult. Hashtag CovidReligion. Full Thread Hmmm. Is covid a religion? Are … Continue reading “Covidism:” How calling something a religion can act as a smokescreen

Is Critical Race Theory a Religion? Responding to Carl Trueman

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash Carl Trueman's article on Critical Race Theory for the February issue of First Things caught my eye last night because of this provocative claim about religious language: All-embracing and transformative views often have a religious quality. Critical race theory is no exception. It has a creedal language and liturgy, with orthodox words (“white privilege,” … Continue reading Is Critical Race Theory a Religion? Responding to Carl Trueman

QAnon, Christian apocalypticism and the threat to US Democracy

Dr. Helen Paynter and I have written a post on Christian white supremacy, for the Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Here is a short excerpt. Visit CSBV for our full analysis and discussion. ... in this post we’ll discuss some of the ways members of a movement like white supremacist nationalism can co-opt religious … Continue reading QAnon, Christian apocalypticism and the threat to US Democracy

What is religious language?

Some of the first questions any scholar of religious language will wrestle with, very early on, are these very difficult ones: what is religion and what is religious language? Judging by the types of tweets about religious language that people tag me in, people tend to think of religious language as explicit references to God, … Continue reading What is religious language?

Video Abstract: An Introduction to Religious Language

I'm so pleased to release this video abstract for my forthcoming book on religious language. My book is available for pre-order, in multiple formats, here, and at other online booksellers. The music for this video is particularly special to me, as it was written, performed and produced by three old and dear friends, Carl Cadwell … Continue reading Video Abstract: An Introduction to Religious Language

Where is God? Spatial metaphor, spatial theography

Bodo Winter, Sarah Duffy and Jeannette Littlemore recently published a research paper in Metaphor and Symbol entitled "Power, Gender, and Individual Differences in Spatial Metaphor: The Role of Perceptual Stereotypes and Language Statistics." Their study investigates connections between vertical language (for example, “at the bottom of the social hierarchy” or “rising to the top") and … Continue reading Where is God? Spatial metaphor, spatial theography

“This sorry affair:” Religious Language and Spiritual Abuse

On occasion, people send me documents and ask me to help them make sense of what the documents are doing and how. They know the documents make them feel bad, less human somehow. They can articulate in some way why that is - pointing to this phrase or that paragraph. Their instincts tell them something … Continue reading “This sorry affair:” Religious Language and Spiritual Abuse