full of gods

A blog about religious language in all of life’s contexts

No Love in War: A Story of Christian Nationalism

“We are all soldiers in the Third World War, and people do not make love in wartime.” Former United States Congressman Larry McDonald My next book, No Love in War: A Story of Christian Nationalism (forthcoming, Mayfly Books), is an auto-ethnographic account of the everyday – and often violent – realities of life without love,…

The Sacred Discourse of “Cleanliness”

This sketch of the ways that bacteria appear in popular culture is also a sketch of ourselves. What our research demonstrates is that bacteria are a kind of vehicle for fears of what we might be, and of aspects of ourselves and our society that we find it difficult to confront directly. Norah Campbell and…

Public Talk: Religious Language and the Good Life

On 6 September, I will be giving a public lecture in Leeds as part of the launch for Dr. Joanna Leidenhag’s John Templeton Foundation funded project entitled “God and Human Speech.” This project will establish 6 interdisciplinary projects at different UK universities, pairing linguists, psychologists and theologians to together examine different aspects of religious language. …

The Brexit Religion and the Holy Grail of the NHS (Kettell & Kerr, 2021)

I’ve just come across a recent article by Steven Kettell and Peter Kerr on the use of religious discourses in the context of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. I’ll be talking about this paper with my religious langauge students this morning, since we are discussing this image from my recent book. Here…

Complex and Cringeworthy: Christianese and other religious jargon

Christians talk in code … and the code excludes those who cannot read the secret language. These words of Malcom Doney and Martin Wrote, in a 2019 Church Times article, reflect a common discomfort with religious code talk, what some people call “church-speak” or “Christianese.” Language like “sin”, “salvation”, “discipleship”, “repentance”, “righteousness”, and “judgement” –…

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