Biblioblogging, 'Religion', and the Manufacturing of Catastrophe


  • James Crossley University of Sheffield, UK



Biblioblogging, manufacturing consent, Haiti earthquake


Building on a previous analysis of 'biblioblogging' and its relationship to the mass media, this article looks at the ways in which 'bibliobloggers' handled the recent tragic events in Haiti. As is typically the case in the handling of US foreign policy, biblioblogging largely fell into line with the dominant positions in the mass media on the specific problems faced in Haiti which mask or deflect colonial/postcolonial interventions. Similarly, some bibliobloggers turned to the issue of theodicy with significantly vague concepts of 'religion' and 'God' being used to both (partially) explain suffering and deflect the more troubling narratives. Finally, some consideration is given to the ideological function of loving to hate the far right, with particular reference to the ways in which Pat Robertson's comments on Haiti were discussed by bibliobloggers.

Author Biography

James Crossley, University of Sheffield, UK

Department of Biblical Studies Senior Lecturer


Bach, Alice 2006 “Bush’s Bible: A Wild Beast Loosed upon the World.” Postscripts 2 2006. 109-25.

Bailey, Scott 2010 “Satan is Pat Robertson’s Theological Mentor.’ Scotteriology,

Berlinerblau, Jacques 2008 Thumpin’ It: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Today’s Presidential Politics. Louisville: WJK.

Boer, Roland 2010 “Tag: Haiti.” Stalin’s Moustache.

Brooker, Charlie 2010 Newswipe, episode 3, first aired 2 February. BBC/Zeppotron. Available at

Brooks, David 2010 “The Underlying Tragedy.” New York Times (14 January).

Chomsky, Noam 2010 “Haiti Post-Earthquake.” ZCommunications.

Crossley, James G. 2008 Jesus in an Age of Terror: Scholarly Projects for a New American Century. London: Equinox.

Crossley, James G. 2010 “N.T. Wrong and the Bibliobloggers.” The Bible and Critical Theory 6/1. 3.1-3.15

Crossley, James G. 2010 Reading the New Testament: Contemporary Approaches. London: Routledge.

DeConick, April 2010 “Tragedy in Haiti.” The Forbidden Gospels.

Dawkins, Richard 2001 “Religion’s misguided missiles.” Guardian. 15 September.

Hallward, Peter 2010 “Our role in Haiti’s plight.” Guardian. 13 January.

Herman, Edward S. and Noam Chomsky 1988 Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. London: Vintage.

Hobbins, John F. 2010 “The Unnatural Natural Disaster: What We Need to Learn from Haiti.” Ancient Hebrew Poetry.

Joseph, Celucien 2010 “Haiti: the Land of bitter tears!” Christ, My Righteousness.

Krejci, Michelle 2008 “An Atheist’s Dilemma: Should We Bend the Bible for Justice?” SBL Forum.

Linville, Jim 2010 “What disaster will God send to punish T.V. Land for Pat Robertson?” Dr Jim’s Thinking Shop and Tea Room.

Littlejohn, Richard 2009 “Why I wouldn't go on Question Time with the unsavoury Nick Griffin.” Daily Mail. 20 October.

Loftus, John W. 2010 “Reason 1,937 why I want nothing to do with Christianity: Pat Robertson on Haiti's Disaster.” Debunking Christianity.

McCutcheon, Russell T. 2005 Religion and the Domestication of Dissent: or, How to live in a less than perfect nation. London and Oakville: Equinox.

McGrath, James F. 2010 “Who is the Wisest? Jesus, Solomon or Pat Robertson? (Biblioblogging and the Haitian Earthquake).” Exploring Our Matrix.

Murray, Craig 2006 Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing.

Obama, Barak 2009 “Remarks by the President on a New Beginning.” The White House: Office of the Press Secretary. Cairo University: Cairo.

Shea, Danny 2010 “Pat Robertson: ‘Haiti “Cursed” by “Pact to the Devil.’” Huffington Post (13 January).

Sherwood, Yvonne 2006 “Bush’s Bible as a Liberal Bible (Strange though that Might Seem).” Postscripts 2. 47–58.

Terri 2010 “Ugh.” Wheat among Tares.

Uffman, Craig 2010 “Where Was God in the Earthquake?” Metanoia.

Watts, Joel 2010 “Pat Robertson: Haiti ‘Cursed’ After ‘Pact to the Devil’ (Video).” The Church of Jesus Christ.

Wiggins, Steve A. 2010 “Theodicy Versus Idiocy.” Sects and Violence in the Ancient World.

Witherington, Ben 2010 “Haiti—Where Was God?” Bible and Culture.

Žižek, Slavoj 2000 “Why We All Love to Hate Heider.” New Left Review. March-April. 37-45.



How to Cite

Crossley, J. (2010). Biblioblogging, ’Religion’, and the Manufacturing of Catastrophe. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 39(3), 48–62.