Robert M. Price is an influential American scholar of Christianity, known best to a wider audience for his intelligent debating style. Many of his debates with various other scholars are still available on YouTube. He also hosts a great podcast called The Bible Geek.
Dr. Price is one of the best-known proponents of the “Christ myth theory”, the theory that there never was an actual, physical person named Jesus of Nazareth.
In addition to his seemingly endless knowledge on the Bible, he is a scholar of the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Dr. Price’s books include:
- Incredible Shrinking Son of Man
- Bart Ehrman Interpreted
- Deconstructing Jesus
- Blaming Jesus for Jehovah
…among others. Buy his books here.
My three favorite movies? Hard to rate them, but here are a few:
Excalibur (1981), Star Wars (1977), The Avengers (2012). But there’s also Ghost Story (1981), The Dead Zone (1983), Fanny and Alexander (1982), Omen 3: The Final Conflict (1981).
Top 3 books:
Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Warrior, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror and Others, and D.F. Strauss’ The Life of Jesus Critically Examined.
Top 3 albums:
Crosby Stills and Nash, CSN; Jesus Christ Superstar; With the Beatles.
Favorite place to read: the bed.
Our excursions into the favorite entertainments of fascinating people continue with the movie, book and music favorites of Dr. Matti Kamppinen, Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Turku. He also holds positions at the University of Helsinki and the University of Kuopio, and is an internationally recognized expert in his fields of study.
He was one of my favorite lecturers during my university days, a widely read and inspiring speaker with a penchant for interdisciplinary ways of approaching scientific questions. One lecture from him would provide endless, fascinating references to everything from Ancient Greek literature to the latest findings in natural sciences.
His books include:
- A Historical Introduction to Phenomenology
- Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience
- Intentional Systems Theory as a Conceptual Framework for Religious Studies
…among others. Buy them here.
Some like it hot (directed by Billy Wilder, 1959). Absolutely hilarious, even after having seen it quite many times.
Life of Brian (directed by Terry Jones, 1979). “So funny, it was banned in Norway” as it was truthfully advertised in Sweden. In addition, a solid introduction to any religion.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (directed by Woody Allen, 2010). This particular WA film depicts beautifully the flow of time in human lifespan.
The Mind’s I – Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (1981) by Douglas Hofstadter& Daniel Dennett is insightful, literally.
Introduction to Value Theory by Nicholas Rescher (1969) provides much-needed structures for our sloppy discussions about values.
The Moral Landscape – How Science Can Determine Human Values (2010) by Sam Harris goes a step further and intends to bridge the fact/value divide. Excellent antidote for overdoses of postmodernism.
Duke by Genesis, Division Bell by Pink Floyd, and Going for the One by Yes.
My buddy Jenna (IG @hermionestrangler) wrote this review of the new film The Landing (2018).
The Landing (2017) is a faux-documentary film about Apollo 18, the space mission that ended up in death of two of its crew members.
It’s the year 1973. Apollo 18 has successfully landed on the Moon and the crew is now returning to Earth. Something goes terribly wrong, and the main pilot, Bo Cunningham has to make an emergency landing. Their capsule ends up in China. There the crew members try their best to survive, but in the middle of the desert it’s easier said than done. One after another they seem to start losing their minds piece by piece.
Very quickly two of the crew members start to have strange physical symptoms, as if they’ve been poisoned. Soon enough they’re both dead. This is where the real story begins. What, or who, killed those men?
The movie is made in the style of a dramatic American style documentary film. It’s filled with 60’s music, lots of acted scenes and emotional interviews, and takes place in the year 1998, 25 years after the incident.
The main character is Bo Cunningham, the astronaut who didn’t get the chance to land on the Moon, since he was the one piloting the capsule. He still seems to be holding a little grudge about that, as he thinks he was more qualified to do that than some of the others. Still, he is the one that ends up bringing the capsule and the whole crew back to Earth safely.
After the crew is rescued from the desert, both the U.S. government and the FBI start their own investigations of the incident. The U.S. government seems to want to hide the evidence about the events in China, but the FBI wants to find the one who may be responsible of the two deaths. All eyes are on Bo Cunningham now, and as the documentary continues, more and more evidence starts to come up. Was it all just an evil plan to eliminate his enemies? Is Cunningham a hero or a villain?
The acting is quite good and the musical effects give a nice eerie feeling throughout the whole movie. I really enjoy the over-dramatic style in this kind of documentaries, so that didn’t bother me at all. The plot was very interesting and if you’re a fan of good mystery stories, this may be just the movie for you.
All in all The Landing was entertaining and well-made faux-documentary, especially if you enjoy a nice conspiracy theory every now and then.