Benjamin B DeVan
  • Male
  • Durham, NC
  • United States
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  • Garfield Swaby
  • Ben Maton
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Latest Activity

Y A Warren commented on Benjamin B DeVan's blog post New Atheists on Genesis 1-11 and 19
"I raised my children in the seventies, allowing them to pursue their own paths to a belief system. I basically gave them two non-negotiable rules: Don't harm yourself. Don't harm others. I also allowed discussion of anything, as long as it…"
Nov 6, 2012
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

New Atheists on Genesis 1-11 and 19

Abstract: The New Atheists have repeatedly denounced the Bible as dangerously false, suppressive to scientific inquiry, and promoting problematic or even abhorrent moral values. The Genesis 1-11 and 19 narratives on the Creation, the Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah are among their favorite targets. Is it possible to read these texts more rigorously, responsibly, and charitably than the New Atheists have done?  I think so, and discuss some possibilities here.This summer I had the opportunity to…See More
Oct 24, 2012
Benjamin B DeVan's blog post was featured

The Loser Letters?

After a post-master's teaching stint which included three years at an all-women's college in North Carolina, I returned to the classroom as a student for a Th.M. with a thesis on Evangelicals and Muslims, and a Ph.D. dissertation on the "New Atheists." One of the funnest (er...most fun) books I have read so far for dissertation prep is Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters, which I recently reviewed "In Brief" for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. I can't help but wonder how my former…See More
Feb 2, 2012
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

The Loser Letters?

After a post-master's teaching stint which included three years at an all-women's college in North Carolina, I returned to the classroom as a student for a Th.M. with a thesis on Evangelicals and Muslims, and a Ph.D. dissertation on the "New Atheists." One of the funnest (er...most fun) books I have read so far for dissertation prep is Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters, which I recently reviewed "In Brief" for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. I can't help but wonder how my former…See More
Feb 2, 2012
Benjamin B DeVan was featured
Oct 19, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan's blog post was featured

Landscapes or Sandscapes? New Atheist Grounds for Morality

I like atheists. I don't like the definite assertion of atheism, since as a believer in God I believe it is false.  But I often like atheists.  Atheists challenge me to think more deeply on myriad issues, including my faith.  Many atheists are gracious with a winsome sense of humor, and act as a prophetic and frank voice to religious believers.  Atheists are my colleagues, fellow nurturers of creative spirit, friends (and perhaps family?) who frequently display the effervescent glory of human…See More
Oct 19, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

Landscapes or Sandscapes? New Atheist Grounds for Morality

I like atheists. I don't like the definite assertion of atheism, since as a believer in God I believe it is false.  But I often like atheists.  Atheists challenge me to think more deeply on myriad issues, including my faith.  Many atheists are gracious with a winsome sense of humor, and act as a prophetic and frank voice to religious believers.  Atheists are my colleagues, fellow nurturers of creative spirit, friends (and perhaps family?) who frequently display the effervescent glory of human…See More
Oct 18, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

A History of Islam in America?

This piece originally appeared in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50:2 (June, 2011), pp. 427-428.What do qualitative research, legal testimony, and sunlight shot through stained glass have in common? All of these benefit from, even demand, insider perspectives. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is an American Muslim, a two-time Harvard graduate, and a Reed College Professor of Religion and Humanities supplying a historian’s insider account of Muslim and non-Muslim interaction in A History of…See More
Jun 15, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

What Do Americans Really Believe?

In the 2007 comedy-drama Dan in Real Life, newspaper columnist Dan Burns (played by Steve Carrell) muses, "Most of the time, our plans don't work out as we'd hoped. So instead of asking our young people what are your plans . . . maybe we should tell them this: plan to be surprised."Burns's final phrase, "plan to be surprised," may…See More
Apr 26, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

The Curious Case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Among immigrants aspiring to brave futures in the land of the free, few are as publicly controversial or as mobile as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In her most recent appearance on the Colbert Report, Stephen asked her if she left Islam and became a Christian. Her answer to the first, "yes." Her answer to the second, "No...I prefer John Locke to Jesus Christ. I prefer John Stuart Mill to…See More
Mar 23, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

Evangelicals and Muslims Loving God, Each Other, and the World Together?

This piece originally appeared in The Huffington Post, February 21, 2011.If asked to identify factions clawing at each other’s religious throats on the American and world stage, who would you cite?  Protestants vs. Catholics?  Muslims vs. Jews and Hindus?  In popular consciousness, Evangelical or evangelistically minded Christians and Muslims are  plausible contenders.  Controversial publicity…See More
Feb 23, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

Pro-homosexuality and anti-homosexuality religious believers together against gay-related bullying?

In light of several high profile cases of gay related bullying, this essay may disgruntle almost everyone who reads it.First, it may anger bullies who want sympathizers or "boys will be boys / girls will be girls" dismissers of bullying among religious believers who see homosexuality as against God's intent, having harmful…See More
Feb 1, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan is now friends with WASIKE BARASA SEVERINE (REV) and Marvin Lance Wiser
Jan 24, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan posted a blog post

Tea with Hezbollah

Last Thursday, the New York Times reported that the Shi'i military and political movement Hezbollah, which many would classify as terrorist, toppled the Lebanese government just six months after the death of…See More
Jan 20, 2011
Ben Maton and Benjamin B DeVan are now friends
Jan 4, 2011
Benjamin B DeVan is now friends with Kelly West Figueroa-Ray and Jason A. Kerr
Dec 23, 2010

Profile Information

Religion / Faith
Ecumenical Christian
I have attended the Parliament of Religions:
Never
Local Religious Community / Interfaith Affiliation:
Various
Website:
http://www.facebook.com/ben.devan
I have come to PeaceNext looking for:
networking, interreligious advocacy, interreligious exploration, intrareligious reflection, friendship
I am inspired by:
Corrie Ten Boom, Martin Luther King, Jr., Les Miserables, The Ramayana, Mahmoud Ayoub, Mahmoud Taha, Viktor Frankl, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, Madeleine L’Engle, Brennan Manning, Jon Levenson, Ruth Padilla Deborst, Miriam Adeney, Tawfik Hamid, Nabeel Jabbour, Joel Rosenberg, Joni Eareckson Tada, Sojourner Truth, Carl Medearis, Irshad Manji, Shusaka Endo, The International Justice Mission, Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, Philip Jenkins’ The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Clark Pinnock's A Wideness in God’s Mercy, A+ Nonbelievers Giving Aid, Compassion International, World Relief, World Vision, Christians for Biblical Equality, The Zondervan NIV Study Bible, The Cotton Patch Gospel
My favorite spiritual places:
"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we will harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire." -- Pierre Tielhard de Chardin
Interreligious causes I care about:
Christian-Muslim / Muslim-Christian Relations, The New Atheism, Evangelical Christianity
Changes I am working toward in my community:
Work in Progress!
About Me:
Benjamin B. DeVan has taught religion, philosophy, and African American literature at North Carolina Central University, Peace College, and a January term mini-course at MIT titled, "Religion: Bringing the World Together, or Tearing the World Apart?" He completed his MA in Counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary, his MDiv at Duke University, a ThM at Harvard in World Religions with a thesis on evangelical Christians and Islam, and is now a doctoral candidate at Durham University, UK, writing a dissertation on the New Atheism.

Benjamin B DeVan's Blog

New Atheists on Genesis 1-11 and 19

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 4:01am 1 Comment

Abstract: The New Atheists have repeatedly denounced the Bible as dangerously false, suppressive to scientific inquiry, and promoting problematic or even abhorrent moral values. The Genesis 1-11 and 19 narratives on the Creation, the Flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah are among their favorite targets. Is it possible to read these texts more rigorously, responsibly, and charitably than the New Atheists have done?  I think so, and discuss some possibilities here.

This summer…

Continue

The Loser Letters?

Posted on February 2, 2012 at 6:01am 0 Comments

After a post-master's teaching stint which included three years at an all-women's college in North Carolina, I returned to the classroom as a student for a Th.M. with a thesis on Evangelicals and Muslims, and a Ph.D. dissertation on the "New Atheists." One of the funnest (er...most fun) books I have read so far for dissertation prep is Mary Eberstadt's The Loser Letters, which I recently reviewed "In Brief" for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary…

Continue

Landscapes or Sandscapes? New Atheist Grounds for Morality

Posted on October 18, 2011 at 1:24pm 0 Comments

I like atheists. I don't like the definite assertion of atheism, since as a believer in God I believe it is false.  But I often like atheists.  Atheists challenge me to think more deeply on myriad issues, including my faith.  Many atheists are gracious with a winsome sense of humor, and act as a prophetic and frank voice to religious believers.  Atheists are my colleagues, fellow nurturers of creative spirit, friends (and perhaps family?) who frequently display the effervescent…

Continue

A History of Islam in America?

Posted on June 15, 2011 at 5:01am 0 Comments

This piece originally appeared in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50:2 (June, 2011), pp. 427-428.

What do qualitative research, legal testimony, and sunlight shot through stained glass have in common? All of these benefit from, even demand, insider perspectives. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is an American Muslim, a two-time Harvard graduate, and a Reed College Professor of Religion and Humanities supplying a historian’s insider account of Muslim and non-Muslim…

Continue

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