Friday, April 29, 2011

Heaven according to Angels in America

So yesterday we learned that life is a job, and God will pay you 14.50 a day. After this, you have to pay for your cash. If you have any leftover, you go to heaven; if not, you have to be born again.

Today, we will continue with our afterlife theme and learn what heaven is like...according to Angels in America:

To remind everyone that one person's hell is another person's heaven; and vice versa.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Afterlife according to Father Guido Sarducci

This is how I plan to start off my Life after Death class next year:

You have to pay for your cash!

Life after Death

Next Spring, I will be teaching a special topics course at Illinois Wesleyan University on "Life after Death." Firstly, I will get to continue next year at Illinois Wesleyan! Secondly, the very fact I am teaching this course is an homage to my late advisor, Alan Segal, whose major book on Life after Death will serve as the basis for the class.

(Painting: William Blake)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I Went to Hades...

The Journey to Hades.--I, too, have been in the underworld, like Odysseus, and shall be there often yet; and not only rams have I sacrificed to be able to speak with a few of the dead, but I have not spared my own blood. Four pairs it was that did not deny themselves to my sacrifice: Epicurus and Montaigne, Goethe and Spinoza, Plato and Rousseau, Pascal and Schopenhauer. With these I must come to terms when I have long wandered alone; they may call me right and wrong; to them will I listen when in the process they call each other right and wrong. Whatsoever I say, resolve, or think up for myself and others--on these eight I fix my eyes and see their eyes fixed on me.

May the living forgive me that occasionally they appear to me as shades, so pale and somber, so restless and, alas, so lusting for life--while those men then seem so alive to me as if now, after death, they could never again grow weary of life. But eternal aliveness is what counts: what matters is "eternal life" or any life!

(Nietsche, Mixed Opinions and Maxims, #408; trans. Walter Kaufmann)

The Spiritual Side of Beer

From CNN

Beer-only fast ends with bacon smoothie
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) – J. Wilson has survived his 46-day beer-only fast and found some unexpected spiritual insights.

Wilson, who lives outside Des Moines, Iowa, was emulating a Lenten tradition carried out by German monks hundreds of years ago. In keeping with tradition he ate his last solid food on Ash Wednesday and broke his fast on Easter Sunday.

See the whole article here.

JP II's Beatification

See here.

The relic of choice is...his blood.

Perhaps because "the blood is life" (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11, 14)?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On Originality

"Original.--Not that one is the first to see something new, but that one sees as new what is old, long familiar, seen and overlooked by everybody, is what distinguishes truly original minds. The first discoverer is ordinarily that wholly common creature, devoid of spirit and addicted to fantasy--accident." (Nietsche, Mixed Opinions and Maxims, #200; trans. Walter Kaufmann)

Seeing the God

I saw Deirdre Good posted the schedule for a conference I am participating in, called "Seeing the God," and so I thought I should note it here:

Co-sponsored by UTS History Department and Fordham Department of Theology


Union Theol. Seminary Room 207

10.00 Coffee and Cookies.
10.20 Welcome. Symposiarchs Profs. McGuckin & Pettis
10.30 Introduction Panel 1. Chair Prof. Jeff Pettis
10.40 —11.00 Seeing the god in Greco-Roman cult. J Pettis
11.00— 11.20 Seeing among the Philosophers. S. Trostyanskiy
11.20 —11.40 Seeing the divine in antique Judaism. J Calaway
11.40— 12.00 Seeing divine things in proto-Christian Literature.
J Pettis & J McGuckin.
12.00— 12.10 Seeing our way to a break
12.10 Introduction Panel 2. Chair Prof. McGuckin
12.15– 12.35 Vision in the Nag Hammadi Texts. C. Lilllie
12.30- 12.50 Holy vision in Syro-Christian texts. T French
12.50– 1.10 Seeing things invisible in Byzantium. J McGuckin
1.10 — 1.40 Open Panel Discussion.

I hope to see some NY people there. The conference is a synopsis of a book of collected essays being put together edited by John McGuckin and Jeff Pettis. I, as you can see, am covering divine visions in late antique Judaism (and, really, more late antique than antique). I just need to get away from grading papers and write my essay!