Yes, okay, I admit it. Referencing a popular media property in the post title is more or less clickbait. If you’re reading this, I guess it worked. Anyway, it seems the last time I blogged was in August 2015, and the last time I tweeted was in December. I have a pattern of starting strong, then blogfading as things get busy. But to tell the truth, I miss being part of the Bible-blogging community, so I’m going to try to give this another go, taking inspiration from both Ezekiel 37 and the Hooters’ “All You Zombies.”
I do have several things on my mind that I want to share with friends and colleagues far and wide, and questions I want to ask. I also have these recurring intentions of using Higgaion as a kind of accountability tool, keeping me moving on my research to avoid the shame of having nothing to really blog about. Maybe that will help me make good progress on my two SBL presentations for November 2016 and my Stone-Campbell Journal Conference presentations for spring 2017 (I can’t remember if it’s March or April in 2017).
But I’d also like to know: what’s on your mind? I’m especially keen to learn what kinds of Old Testament related topics (yes, there should probably be some hyphens in there, but I thought they looked ugly) would be of interest to other folk who, like me, self-identify as members or heirs of the Churches of Christ, Christian Churches, Restoration Movement, Stone-Campbell heritage, or whatever label you want to use. How is the Old Testament being heard and used in our churches these days? What parts of the Old Testament cry out for more of our attention?
So please use the comments section here to let me know what topics interest you, and in the coming weeks I‘ll try to share with you some topics that interest me. Maybe there’s some life left in this old blog after all.
Over the last ten years or so, I have accumulated domain names and blogs like something that accumulates things. I’ve been working on paring things back so that all my blogging, whether it’s about professional and intellectual matters (the Tanak, teaching and learning), recreational activities (games, movies, and comics), or personal stuff (family news), will now be in one place—right here at Higgaion. It turns out (no drama in this reveal) that I am fairly poor at time management, and that’s probably the number one reason that Higgaion blogfades from time to time. Trying to manage multiple blogs and podcasts and so forth was a big contributing factor. But another truth is that I miss interacting with the Bible bloggers, and with online folks who share my other interests. So here we go again.
Welcome (back), dear reader, to the Higgaion blog. If you haven’t visited before, let me take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Chris Heard, an associate professor of religion at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. I specialize in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), equivalent in content to the Protestant Old Testament (some other Christian groups have larger Old Testaments that include material not found in the Tanakh). I focus my research primarily on the book of Genesis, though I’ve also published on (various portions of) the books of Habakkuk, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Chronicles. Methodologically, my work runs primarily in the veins of narrative criticism and reception history. Like all faculty in Pepperdine’s Religion Division, I identify myself with the Churches of Christ (not to be confused with the United Church of Christ or the Latter-Day Saints, but closely related to the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and the Christian Church [Disciples of Christ]); my own affiliation with Churches of Christ began at birth and will extend, as far as I can foresee, until my death. My college sweetheart and I married each other almost 22 years ago as of this writing, and our two sons are now 14 and eight years old. You wouldn’t go far wrong if you characterized me as a nerd; I watched the first season of Star Trek while I was in utero, and have greatly enjoyed sci-fi, fantasy, comics, and all sorts of games ever since.
Many of you didn’t need that introduction, but you do need the rest of the story to learn why I’ve completely rebooted Higgaion. I didn’t especially want to reboot Higgaion, but I didn’t really have much choice. You see, the service that previously hosted Higgaion fell victim to mischief, and all of my blogs began to suffer from malicious code injection, resulting in a brief stint for some of them on Googles safe browsing blacklist. After much effort on my part to stamp out the problem by myself, and after an echoing silence from my web host’s tech support department (at the end of which they marked the matter resolved, despite recurrent malware injections), I found it necessary to simply start over from scratch. As a result, Higgaion new resides in a new webspace on a new host, with stronger security measures.