zenpundit.com » Blog Archive » Trying these shoes on for size — nah!

Trying these shoes on for size — nah!

[ 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:

argue with religion prof

I’m afraid you may sometimes feel much the same when I forcefeed my own equivalent on you all.

And then there’s this:

not an expert on apocalyptic lit Madame Secretary s 1 e 18 ~25'

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.

    Spot on.

    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:

    ethics cant be trumped

    2 Responses to “Trying these shoes on for size — nah!”

    1. Timothy Furnish Says:

      Well, might I recommend “Ten Years’ Captivation with the Mahdi’s Camps: Essays on Muslim Eschatology 2005-2015?” Of course, knowing TV, the apocalyptic threat in that show was probably Pentecostal snake-handlers or inebriated Lutherans rather than the actual eschatological violent adherents that bedevil the world today: Muslims.

    2. Charles Cameron Says:

      It was close to Waco, it seemed to me, though not Seventh Day Adventist — clearly Christian, but not averse to debate & continued learning — with the added touch of a captured congressman in the Jonestown manner.

    Switch to our mobile site