Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So what is a Bible Nerd then?

According to Urban Dictionary it's

Someone who is religious to a bizzare extent. When angry, they will quote
scripture at you. Often enforce their morals, values, or ideas on others. Travel
in packs.The bible nerds meet every Sunday evening to discuss scripture. Oh
Well that's hardly me then. Or any of the biblical scholars I know! Though I do want one of these. If anyone is looking for last minute Christmas presents.

The definition does make me think of Dot Branning in Eastenders on BBC. Dot (played by June Brown) is one of my favourite television characters associated with the Bible. She admittedly is also the worst biblical exegete I have ever encountered, but her love for the word of God is heartening. She can quote at length from the Bible and uses her vast repertoire to win any argument she feels like she is losing. She is a poor exegete as her quotations are usually designed to confuse rather than to give spiritual guidance and she quotes entirely out of context. The BBC was accused of anti-religious bias by a House of Lords committee, who cited EastEnders as an example. Dr. Indarjit Singh, editor of the Sikh Messenger and patron of the World Congress of Faiths, said: “EastEnders Dot Cotton is an example. She quotes endlessly from the Bible and it ridicules religion to some extent.”

On a survey of 430 students aged 18-23 last year, over 300 hundred of them had seen Eastenders in the past week and over 400 of them knew who Dot Cotton was. She is often depicted as the “old doll” character-the only person left in the world to which the Bible is relevant.

It is difficult to find past episodes of Eastenders as they are copyrighted, but BBCWorldwide has an account on YouTube. The clip “EastEnders: Dot & Den Have Heart-to-Heart in Launderette” has a good moral overtone and many of the other clips available have good “bible-bashing” segments which are great for sparking off debate in a classroom setting.

Flora Hoori has a good examples of task and display work for the character of Lucas in Eastenders (he's a Christian preacher who knows his Bible but who tends to let the side down by killing people, but you can forgive the association because of headlines like "Lucas Bashes More Than His Bible"). The tasks are good but may need to be revised in light of more current storylines. You can also use the scenes where he quotes from the Bible to help students to find the biblical passages he quotes from-what was his motivation behind them? He also quotes the Lord's Prayer before one murder-claiming that he is only carrying out the Lord's wishes (crazy or prophetic?)

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