[ by Charles Cameron — a little semi-private laughing at myself via Madam Secretary ]
I’ve been having some private chuckles watching season 1 of Madam Secretary, and I’m betting Dr Henry McCord, the religion professor / NSA guy, doesn’t have to beg his friends for copies of their journal papers the way I do, lol.
Here are some screengrabs:
I’m afraid you may sometimes feel much the same when I forcefeed my own equivalent on you all.
And then there’s this:
He’s good on Aquinas and reads Arabic to boot. That’s impressive.
But it’s true you know, religion professors don’t necessarily know apocalyptic, and apocalyptic specialists don’t necessarily know the full range of apocalyptic expressions across continents and centuries. At which point, may I recommend:
Richard Landes, Heaven on Earth: the Varieties of the Millennial Experience
I was impressed that the show, in covering a “cult” situation in season 1 episode 18, showed knowledge not only for Jonestown and Waco, but more specifically of scholars of religion Phillip Arnold and James Tabor‘s contact with David Koresh, which had the potential to resolve the Waco situation in ways the FBI’s dismissal of theology as “Bible-babble” sadly ruled out:
Henry McCord: You know, in Waco, Koresh was at an absolute standoff with the FBI until a couple of religious scholars got him talking about his beliefs, the Bible, and then that’s when he was ready to come out peacefully.
Elizabeth McCord: So scholars almost saved the day at Waco, huh?
Henry McCord: Okay. There’s no way of telling how that might have turned out.
And while we’re on this topic, may I recommend:
Nancy T. Ammerman, Waco, Federal Law Enforcement, and Scholars of Religion James Tabor & Eugene Gallagher, Why Waco? Jayne Docherty, Learning Lessons from Waco: When Parties Bring Their Gods to the Negotiation Table
Okay, I can’t walk in Dr McCord’s shoes, but I’d happily follow his footsteps a little farther — once Season 2 arrives on Netflix.
For a little unintended current political input: