A Lost Century, and a Slipped Date

I have posted often at this site on the subject of the “Dark Ages,” or post-Roman era, and specifically as it affected the British Isles following the Fall of Rome. (And yes, I do accept and use the concept of Dark Ages, and have justified my use of the term at some length). The era has multiple appeal for historians, not least because of the whole Arthurian myth, and the relation between history and legend; but also the fate of… Read more

Christian Scholarship, For Such a Time as This

I’ve got to be honest. There was a time, not long ago, when I had become weary of conversations about “Christian scholarship.” These conversations, it seemed to me, had become stale, and sometimes took the place of actually doing scholarship, Christian or otherwise. Recently, however, I’ve found myself reconsidering the idea of Christian scholarship. I’m not entirely sure what’s changed. Perhaps I’m just older (yes) and wiser (maybe). Or perhaps our historical moment demands that we ask old questions in… Read more

A Serious Proposal for Academic Conferences: Ban Harvey Weinsteins

It was during a major academic conference. A male colleague alerted me that a female graduate student had left the reception early. A fellow conference attendee had cornered her and began making sexually inappropriate advances—both physical and verbal. Luckily one of her male friends realized what was happening and intervened so that she could escape. When I checked on the graduate student to see if she was okay, her response saddened me. “Oh yes- that,” she said, “I’m fine…Not the first… Read more

Seeking Truth in a World “With Devils Filled”

Chris ponders the intersection of higher education with a topic to which he rarely gives much thought: spiritual warfare. Read more

Inventing the Christian Priesthood

I’ve been discussing the Christian church at an early stage in its development, around 200 AD. This is definitely the “early church,” long before the Council of Nicea, and the kind of precedents we find there should presumably be relevant to later generations of Christians, including Protestants. That’s important because early Fathers from this time, such as Tertullian, show how commonly the church then talked not only about a distinct class of clergy, but even referred to them as priests…. Read more

4 Memorials for Remembrance Day

In honor of what most of the English-speaking world observes as Remembrance Day, Chris shares four especially memorable World War I memorials. Read more

Inventing The Clergy

I have been working on the early church, mainly the era of Tertullian, around 200 AD. What you find in that era has many implications for later debates about the church, and especially at a time when we are talking so much about commemorating the Reformation. For Christians, the question of what the church actually did and thought in that very early era has always been a matter of significance. To varying degrees, Christians of all shades and traditions have… Read more

Praying in the Wake of Affliction

In 1687, a measles epidemic swept away many of Boston’s children. Cotton Mather preached on the subject on Christmas that year, delivering an afternoon sermon titled upon publication Right Thoughts in Sad Moments. Mather’s message was standard puritan fare. God gives, and God takes away. Ultimately, God uses such afflictions for the benefit of his creation, sometimes to punish sin, always to remind us of our mortality and bring us to a more intimate knowledge of his Son and his… Read more

African Spiritism Meets Halloween’s Ghouls in a Small Kentucky Town

Why global Christians are circumspect about Halloween Read more

Addressing Barriers to Christian Involvement in Interfaith Engagement

Guest bloggers Sara Shady and Marion Larson address common objections to Christian participation in interfaith engagement Read more

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