Humanities

Group Word Play

We often think of writing as a solitary activity.  When we picture a writer at work, we might think of Emily Dickinson composing her poems alone in her garret, or Jo March from Little Women writing her stories in the corner of an attic, or the reclusive J.D. Salinger writing in a secluded house in rural New Hampshire.  Although the stereotype of the solitary writer is deeply rooted in our culture, it, like so many stereotypes, does not always match reality.  Many writers actually...

The Battle of the Apostles: Paul’s One-Upmanship

My newly published book Paul’s Ascent to Paradise (revised from my 1986 dissertation) is beginning to draw some good comments and reactions. Here is a comment by Roy Kay that captures a key element of that book–how Paul claims authority based on his extraordinary mystical experiences–in his battles with his apostolic opponents (2 Corinthians 11:12-29) when [...]...

Looking at the Future: The Author of Luke-Acts

For the next few weeks I plan to post many of my previously published articles that have fallen off the radar of many of my readers. Some, but not nearly all, are available as PDFs on this Blog site under “Publications and Papers,” in the dropdown menu above labeled “Academic.” I am searching out everything [...]...

The Story of a Tall Girl Who Became an Investigative Journalist

For long-time readers of The Charlotte Observer, Nancy Stancill’s name might seem familiar, for she worked as an award-winning investigative reporter and editor for the Charlotte paper for fifteen years, beginning in 1993 and ending in 2009.  Although she retired from her career as a journalist, she has never stopped writing.  In 2013, she published the first of two mystery novels set in Texas, where she lived before moving to Charlotte.  This month, her publisher,...

Who or What is a Prophet Like Moses? Free Lecture Tomorrow

I will be speaking live tomorrow morning (Oct 24, 2020) at 11:30 EST/10:30 CST on the topic: “Who or What is a Prophet Like Moses” Many of you are familiar with the passage in Deuteronomy 18:15 where Moses speaks in the first person: “YHVH your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [...]...

Jonathan Z. Smith and My Work on Paul the Apostle

Note to the reader: During the “Covid Summer of 2019” I spent about a month digging through old files from my University of Chicago days–back when I was writing my dissertation at the University of Chicago under Jonathan Z. Smith. I found so many treasures, including these handwritten notes I had forgotten about from Smith’s [...]...

A Black Girl Magic Book

During the nearly eight years that I served as the Chair of UNC Charlotte’s English Department, I got to know the other department chairs since we attended so many meetings together.  That is how I got to know Julia Jordan-Zachery, the current chair of the Department of Africana Studies.  She came to Charlotte in 2018 after serving as the Director of Black Studies Program at Providence College for ten years.  I remember when I first met Julia, we talked about her daughter...

Christmas Stories by Charlotte Writers

There is only one movie that I watch at least once every year and that is A Christmas Story, the 1983 comedy based on Jean Shepherd’s book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.  For me, Christmas would not be Christmas without revisiting Ralphie and the other members of the Parker family.  My favorite character is the father, generally known as the Old Man.  In some ways, this character reminds me of my own father.  Like Mr. Parker, my father sometimes seemed...

Verse & Vino Goes Virtual

In November 2014, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation held its first Verse & Vino event.  Bestselling authors from around the country came and interacted with library supporters from around the Charlotte area, and the wine flowed freely.  A great time was had by all, and the event raised much needed funds for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.  In the years since then, Verse & Vino has become more than an annual fundraising event.  For many book lovers,...

It’s Not Too Late: Hear Me and Nineteen Other Speakers This Weekend!

This is a kind of “last call” as registration ends tonight, Wednesday, October 21st, at midnight.  I hope many of my blog readers will join us this weekend for the 23rd Annual Bible and Archaeology Fest sponsored by the Biblical Archaeology Society. It is truly a Who’s Who of engaging speakers (plus me!) on a variety [...]...