Aside from my dissertation, this book took the longest to write. And because of the subject matter, it was almost as emotionally taxing. My friend Larry wrote half of this book from the perspective of a Reform Jew who appreciates, but fears Christianity (for good reason!). Larry is a great writer. He brought an interesting, funny, and challenging voice to some really hard topics. I filled out the other half from the perspective of a progressive, mainline Protestant. At the end of every section, we've included a transcribed dialogue. Amy-Jill Levine wrote the foreword.
"Conversations between Jews and Christians have never been more productive. So, aren’t we done with Jewish-Christian dialogue already? In this book, Anthony Le Donne and Larry Behrendt answer this question with an emphatic “no.” By embracing rather than papering over the complex differences between Christians and Jews, Larry and Anthony show how an exploration of the things that divide us can lead to deeper faith and friendship.”
—Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, PhD
Temple Beth Shalom
Gods of Thrones, v1
This is my first book about fantasy literature (and screen adaptation). It is co-authored with my friend Aron and uses words like “Cleganebowl” and phrases like “thunderdomestically awesome.” This book is for folks who care deeply about the fake religions of imaginary people. Illustrations by the freakishly talented Chase Stone.
“Bursting with insight and full of japes, this book will teach you much and more. Gods of Thrones will deepen your experience of the novels and remind you why you loved them in the first place. Clearly, these guys drink and know things.”
—Chad Carmichael, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity
This book was my idea but Chris Keith's thesis. The impact of this book is due to Dr. Keith's dogged commitment to destroy poor logic and outmoded methods. I write the introduction and a decent chapter on the idea of coherence in historiography but Dr. Keith's conclusion was a punch in the face to the entire discipline. And the field is still reeling from it. It was an honor to play Paulie Pennino to his Rocky.
“This isn’t a volume for beginners, but it will find a wide audience amongst scholars and upper-level students. More importantly, it should be essential reading for anyone even contemplating any kind of reconstruction of the historical Jesus.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books
The Fourth Gospel and First-Century Media Culture
This one is an experts-only slog of a read. Long story short: oral cultures handle memorization, performance, and narratives differently than we might expect. The study of ancient media culture occupied a large part of my head for several years. Think of all the episodes of the Sopranos that I missed! One more thing: the publisher put out the paperback with the wrong subtile. The subtitle was copied in error from a book on 1 Peter. When I informed the publishers, they just shrugged and never did anything about it. Got to admire that kind of apathy.
"The issues raised by this volume may focus on the FG and related texts, but they apply more broadly to early Christian and Second-Temple Jewish texts in general. The focus on the Johannine literature gives this collection a coherence and concreteness that clarifies and demonstrates the possibilities of media research. However, the value of this collection for NT and biblical scholarship is in no way limited to students of the FG and its cousins."
—Biblical Theology Bulletin
Gods of Thrones, v2
Yeah, we did another one of these. The multiverse of Ice and Fire is so expansive, that we needed another volume to include topics like Chinese dragon lore, Hadrian's Wall, the dark side of baptism, and death coins. My favorite chapter compares Mirri Maz Duur, Éowyn, and third-wave feminism.
"Gods of Thrones Vol.2 masterfully plumbs the depths of the ancient mythologies and premodern rituals, beliefs, and practices that inspire the lore of the old gods and the theology of the new—and everything in between. Sophisticated in its rendering of various facets of religious history, yet inherently accessible and compulsively readable, Hubbard and Le Donne offer up a new and fascinating lens through which to view the competing and overlapping belief systems that undergird Westeros—and threaten its demise."
—Jana Mathews, PhD
Professor of Medieval Literature
Found in Translation
I co-edited (and wrote a chapter in) this massive tome. It was written in honor of my friend Leonard Greenspoon who has devoted his life to the joys and problems of translation. If you're interested in how Hebrew, Syriac, and Greek grammars intersect or why English translations of the Bible are so bizarre, this may just be the book for you. It was published by Purdue University Press in 2018.
"In Found in Translation, prominent scholars offer timely and instructive discussions of two related and endlessly fascinating subjects―the variant texts of the Bible and the perennial challenges of translating it.”
—Jon D. Levenson, PhD (Harvard University) Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies