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The Process of Publishing a Book

I mentioned yesterday that I have now sent in my manuscript on The Triumph of Christianity to my editor at Simon & Schuster.  It occurs to me that readers might be interested in knowing how the editorial process works.  I know I was almost completely ignorant of the process when I first started publishing books.   My unreflective thought then is that once I would finish writing a book and editing it as best I could, the process would be more ...

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Writing Books that Are Interesting and Important

Last week I interrupted the thread I had been pursuing about why my unusual academic background prepared me to write books for general audiences in order to talk about my lecture in Odense, Denmark, at the University of Southern Denmark, on the relationship between the worship of the Roman emperor and the rise of Christian understandings of Christ as “Savior” and “Lord” and “God” (titles given to the emperor as well).  There is more to be said about this latter ...

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Why Was the Emperor Worshiped?

This will be my last post about the worship of the Roman emperor as a god.  I have been trying to make several major points in this thread.   So let me begin by summarizing them:

  • The reason worshiping the man who ruled the empire would not have seemed bizarre to ancient people was that there was not thought to be an enormous chasm between the divine and human realms (as there is for most people today). There were some gods who ...
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Faith and History: A Blast From the Past

Here is a post that I made exactly four years ago today, on a topic of perennial interest: the relationship between theological belief and historical study:

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I received a number of responses to my post yesterday about faith and history – some on the blog itself and some via emails (I prefer questions/comments on the blog itself, by the way, as I can deal with them more efficiently. In case anyone should ask you which I prefer 🙂 ).  Some of these ...

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Debate with a Mythicist! And the Book of Revelation. Readers’ Mailbag September 25, 2016

In this week’s Mailbag I’ll be addressing two questions, one about me personally – my preparations for the upcoming debate with Robert Price on the question of whether Jesus even existed as a human being – and the other about the book of Revelation.  If you have a question you would like me to address on the Mailbag, simply ask it in a comment on this post or any other.

 

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QUESTION

It seems the debate between yourself and Robert Price will be ...

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The God Julius Caesar

I mentioned in a previous post the scarcely-remembered-these-days Diogenes Poliorcetes (Diogenes, the Conqueror of Cities), who was acclaimed as a divine being by a hymn-writer (and others) in Athens because he liberated them from their Macedonian overlords.   I should point out that this great accomplishment paled with time, and he did some other things that the Athenians did not find so useful or approve of, and the rescinded their adoration of him.

My point was that sometimes military men/political rulers were ...

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Rulers as Gods: The Context of Ancient Religion

Why did ancient people in the Greek and Roman worlds sometimes consider political leaders as gods?  That’s the question I’m dealing with in this series of posts.  And I think now, after a good bit of background, I’m able to begin to answer it.

The gods in Greek and Roman thought were considered to be superhuman.  Unlike, say, the (animal-shaped) gods of Egypt, the Greek and Roman gods were literally in human form.   When they appeared here on earth to humans ...

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When Men Became Gods: My Lecture in Denmark

As I indicated earlier, I am in Denmark this week giving talks.  I’m staying in Copenhagen, a fabulous city, but two of my talks are in Odense, an hour and a half (very pleasant) train ride from here.  I am being sponsored by the University of Southern Denmark, which invited me almost a year ago now to give a lecture to students and faculty on the relationship between the Roman Imperial cult (the worship of the Roman emperor as a ...

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Fear of Dying etc.: Weekly Readers Mailbag, September 18, 2016

What is my personal feeling toward death?  That’s the first of two questions in this weeks’ Readers’ Mailbag!

QUESTION:

How do you feel about dying? Is that not in some part terrifying?  And us losing our loved ones forever? How do you get over that?

 

RESPONSE:

Ah, how do I feel about dying?  In general, I’m against it.  🙂

But do I find the prospect terrifying?  I would say that over the years I have had different attitudes toward death.  I suppose when I was ...

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The Divine Realm in Antiquity

I have started a thread on my current interest, the relationship of the imperial cult (the Roman worship of the emperors) to the rise of Christology (the understandings of Christ).  Both Caesars (especially deceased ones, but in some parts of the empire, also the living one) and Christ (by most of his followers, now that he too was deceased) were thought of and called “Savior,” “Lord,” “Son of God,” and even “God.”

Most people would know that was true of Christ.  ...

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