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Lecture Cancellations and Non-Cancellations (so far)

I hope all of you are well and staying away from viruses.  As it turns out, just now I’m reading On the Beach, a fantastic 1957 novel set in 1963 about what happens “after the war,” when the northern hemisphere has destroyed itself with a massive nuclear exchange, and the people of Melbourne are waiting as the radiation cloud is slowly heading their way over the course of months, with nothing to stop it.  (I’m reading novels like this, and watching comparable films, as I’m thinking about my next book Expecting Armageddon.)    Suddenly this morning I realized (duh!) how timely it is, mutatis mutandis.  Maybe I’ll blog on such things.

But for now!  Our new companion Corona has disrupted many of our lives and is certain to disrupt virtually all of them.  Please accept my hopeful thoughts that the disruptions you experience are merely inconvenient and not debilitating, either physically, financially, socially, or emotionally.

Some of my immediate trips and lectures have been cancelled (well, postponed for a year or so!), and I wanted just to let you know in case you … wondered.  Some are still going on.

Those of a public nature:  My lecture at Baylor on March 31 is cancelled.  My UNC tour to Rome April 14-21 is cancelled.   My lecture tour in Sweden April 24-31 is not yet cancelled, but I’ll be amazed if it is not soon.

SO FAR the following are STILL scheduled to be held.

  • Smithsonian all-day seminar on Heaven and Hell, this weekend, Saturday March 14.
  • Book readings:
    • Washington D.C. Politics and Prose bookstore, April 1, 7:00
    • Chapel Hill, NC, Flyleaf bookstore, April 2, 7:00
    • Pittsboro, NC (Fearrington Village), McIntyres bookstore, April 4, 11:00 a.m.
    • Durham, NC, Regulator bookstore, April 5, 2:00
    • Raleigh, NC, Quail Ridge Books, April 6, 7:00
    • Waynesville, NC, Hart Theater (sponsored by Blue Ridge Books), April 9, noon (ticket required; includes lunch)

I’ll let you know if more get cancelled/postponed.  Keep safe!


Intimate Relationships: Nonbelievers and Believers



  1. Avatar
    stokerslodge  March 11, 2020

    Thank you, stay safe.

  2. Avatar
    Todd  March 11, 2020

    Regarding armeddedon: I would really rather read a book regarding the positive ethical teachings of Jesus rather than about the end times. I think it is more important for us to promote love and compassion than dwell on the eradication of our planet. Maybe that is why I’m more attracted to Buddhist teachings of compassion and love than I am to Christian churches that are obsessed with judgment and end times terror. Just my opinion.

    Bart, how about writing a book dealing with the more positive and hopeful aspects of Jesus’ teachings?

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      That’s important too! And of course, the book (by far) most commonly written. I don’t see it as an either/or. I just write one book at a time! (But I do think Jesus’ positive teachings were all in the context of his apocalyptic message, that we need to begin to live lives of radical love in view of the fact that the day of judgment was coming)

      • Avatar
        AndrewJenkins  March 14, 2020

        Hi Bart,
        I have learned much about the apocalyptic context of Jesus’s teaching from here and from your book, which I found very convincing. It is helpful to understand thought in the 1st century and later. Do you think that we are now, in the 21st century, experiencing ‘neo-apocalypticism’ – I am thinking of Beck and Giddens and the ‘risk society’, which I have used as a theoretical framework for work on the politics of climate change.
        If so is some form of ‘apocalypticism’ not just an archaic phenomenon but a natural human response to the world around us?
        All the best and stay well! (I am going home tomorrow from Dhaka via Doha, so hope the planes keep flying….)

        • Bart
          Bart  March 15, 2020

          My next book will be about how apocalyptic ideas aer living on in modern religion, culture, and even politics.

  3. Avatar
    Levenson  March 11, 2020

    Hi Professor Bart, have you posted on Paul quoting from greek philosophers or will you in the future?


    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      Nope, never have. Most of the work on Paul’s philosophical leanings have been on his basic agreements with certainly schools of thought, especially Stoicism.

  4. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  March 11, 2020

    With regard to the apocalypse, I am sending you in the mail a “New York Times” book review of a book entitled “Until the End of Time” by Brian Greene. His main theme is that there are two major forces in the world:

    1. The evolution of species and
    2. The second law of thermodynamics which postulates that disorder always increases.

    As a result, not only will life continue to evolve, but eventually all life, not just humans changing into another species, but “all life” will eventually die out as the sun disappears. How is that for an “apocalypse.”

    Egads! Not all that hopeful.

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      Yes indeed — hard to see how anything will live on once the sun goes! I’ll welcome reading hte review! Thanks,

    • NulliusInVerba
      NulliusInVerba  March 13, 2020

      Brian Greene’s discourses in his chosen field are as weighty and compelling as are those of (our friend and) the host of this blog!

  5. Avatar
    tadmania  March 11, 2020

    You may not want to wait until the venue cancels, professor. Lead the way (as you always do) and minimize the risk to those who might gather together. This is serious business.

  6. Avatar
    zipzom  March 11, 2020

    I’m from Melbourne, Australia and feel like we are waiting for the coronavirus to spread. The fear of the coronavirus has spread rapidly with shoppers clearing out all the toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, pasta, oats, flour, medicines. Shelves are quite bare. Due to the ban on travellers from China, Iran and Italy, this has also reduced student enrolments for semester one at my university. Teaching hours have been cut and some subjects aren’t viable. If there is community transmission, then the university will probably be required to close to try and protect the vulnerable. It looks like I’ll have plenty of time to read “On the Beach”

  7. Avatar
    SGoldleaf  March 12, 2020

    This is the first good news (for me) to come out of this pandemic. I was disappointed not to be able to take your tour of Rome this time, and it sounds like I’ll get another shot at it, assuming we’re still alive.

  8. Avatar
    nichael  March 12, 2020

    Rather off-topic, but if someone, a non-expert, we’re looking for a place to get started with Irenaeus (especially “Against Heresies”) do you have a good edition you’d recommend?

    (Obviously not looking for something like, say, the Loeb edition. OTOH is there a good “Intro to” that you might suggest? )

    Thanks, as always. And you — and everyone else — stay well out there.

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      Yes, a couple of English translations out there: the standard is in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, but it’s dated. I’d suggest the volumes in The Early Christian Writers series.

  9. Avatar
    holdco  March 12, 2020

    Looks like the Smithsonian event is canceled too. How disappointing. Any idea, Dr. Ehrman, if they’ll reschedule it?

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      Yup, that’s the plan. Not sure when: they’re swamped with more pressing issues just now.

  10. Avatar
    Damian King  March 12, 2020

    Hey Dr Ehrman. Your book isn’t out here yet, as far as I know, but you have argued that Jesus Christ did not believe in a conscious afterlife for the damned… Briefly, how do you account for the Lazarus story, where the Rich man experiences conscious eternal suffering and Lazarus experiences conscious eternal bliss?

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      It will be available March 31. Yes, I deal obviously with the passage, and show why it almost certainly is not a parable that Jesus himself spoke, but was attributed to him only later. It is the only passage int he Bible that does appear to support the idea of rewards and punishments after death (though even there there is not word of the fates being eternal)

  11. Avatar
    FredLyon  March 12, 2020

    The Smithsonian just announced that all museums are closed as of 3/14. They had previously announced that all public events are cancelled/postponed until 5/3.

  12. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  March 13, 2020

    The current spread of the coronavirus reminds me of the spread of Christianity as you described it in your excellent book entitled “The Triumph of Christianity.” The number is very small at first, but as a given person contacts a family member and then that family member contacts a spouse and so on pretty soon the small numbers start to double and all of this doubling adds up.

    • Bart
      Bart  March 13, 2020

      Hopefully it’s triumph will not be as complete or history-changing….

  13. Avatar
    Steven Cartman  March 14, 2020

    Hope you are well.

    Here in the Czech Republic all schools have been closed for 3 days, and will remain so for a month.

    From 6 a.m. today all pubs, restaurants, shops, cinemas, theatres etc had to close for 10 days.

    Food shops are allowed to stay open.

    The borders will seal, nobody in or out, at midnight tomorrow.

    I started reading Stephen King’s The Stand last week, very topical…!

    • Bart
      Bart  March 15, 2020


      Oh *boy* is “The Stand” topical. I used to use it in my undergraduaet class “Apocalypse Now and Then.”

  14. Avatar
    heisenberg  March 14, 2020

    The universities here in Sweden follow the government recommendation to cancel any gatherings of more than 500 people. You usually attract more than that, don’t you?

  15. Rick
    Rick  March 15, 2020

    Revelations, the Apocalypse of John the Devine, has always reminded me somehow of Edgar Allen Poe’s poetry. Poe, inspired by his actor parents, wrote to entertain, and also drank a lot and reportedly used opium. As literature Revelations certainly seems to go out of its way to paint fanciful and entertaining imagery which makes me wonder if John hadn’t found something growing on Patmos. Anyway look forward perhaps to you dissecting it as literature a bit apart from its theology?

    • Bart
      Bart  March 16, 2020

      I”ve done a bit of that in my textbook on the NT, explaining it from a literary perspective.

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