978-0-8223-5635-6_pr

William J. Seymour and Global Pentecostalism

I just received a copy of a major new book, which should be of great interest to Anxious Bench readers. Even better, I also draw attention to another and closely related text from the same hand.Gastón Espinosa, who teaches at Claremont McKenna College, has just published a substantial volume called William J. Seymour and the Origins of Global Pentecostalism: A Biography and Documentary History (Duke University Press, 2014).Here is the publisher’s description:In 1906, William J. Se … [Read More...]

9780199777952

The Age of Evangelicalism

Steven Miller's first book, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South, discusses the role of Graham and of evangelical Christianity more broadly in the political realignment of southern politics in the years following the Second World War. Miller's second book, The Age of Evangelicalism: America's Born-Again Years has already received a great deal of well-deserved praise. He graciously agreed to answer my questions about this recent publication.JT: What years encompass the Age of … [Read More...]

In Memoriam: Dale A. Johnson (1936 – 2014)

Feeling a vocational calling to teach, I completed all of the graduate school application necessaries in the fall of 2000.  I secured recommendations letters, practiced and sat for the GRE, wrote essays, ordered transcripts, and made contact with potential supervisors at the schools to which I … [Read More...]

Choosing a research topic

Philip Jenkins' recent post on choosing a subject for a book or research project is well worth your time. If there's anyone who knows how to pick a topic, it is Professor Jenkins!From my own time in a Master's and Ph.D. program, through the present as I advise Baylor doctoral students, I am … [Read More...]

She Treasured It In Her Heart

I’m wondering when it is possible to argue from silence when reading historical sources, and particularly in a Biblical context.I have been writing recently on the Virgin Mary in early Christianity, and was initially taken aback to find how even I tended to attribute statements to the wrong g … [Read More...]

Finding a Subject

Beth Barr, Tommy Kidd and myself have all been posting on the subject of writing and publishing, particularly of academic books.All of us trod lightly on one of the most important aspects of all, namely how someone goes about choosing a topic in the first place. In some cases, it’s easy. You m … [Read More...]

Writing in the In-Between

Today's guest post is from Dr. Beth Allison Barr, Associate Professor of History at Baylor University. She writes on women, gender, and religion in late medieval England, and is the author of The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England. She tweets at @bethallisonbarr.I intended to write 1 … [Read More...]

Notes to Freshmen on Mystery and the Liberal Arts

At Asbury University, where I teach, the fall semester is already ramping up. After welcoming nearly 400 new students to campus last Tuesday for orientation, we didn’t waste any time starting up academic conversations. All incoming students are reading G.K. Chesterton’s mystery thriller The Man Who W … [Read More...]

Hating One’s Enemy in Early America

1755 was one of the bleakest years in the history of Britain's American colonies. That year, Britain launched a massive campaign to stop French aggression in the Ohio river valley, in the early stages of the Seven Years' War (also known as the French and Indian War). Benjamin Franklin tried to warn … [Read More...]

On the Selfie and the Self

This summer a relative put aside resistance and got his first smartphone, soon after sending us a picture of himself taken with his phone, captioned: “My First Facie.”   Initial mirth over this mistaken terminology—“facie” instead of “selfie”—gave way to conviction that his was, in fact, the much bet … [Read More...]

An Interview with Mark Cheathem, Author of Andrew Jackson, Southerner

Mark Cheathem is associate professor of history at Cumberland University.  His book, Andrew Jackson, Southerner (Louisiana State University Press) framed this interview with guest blogger David George Moore.   Dave blogs at www.twocities.org.  Dave is author most recently of The Last Men’s Book You’l … [Read More...]

HISTORY IN MAPS

I was recently looking at some older maps of Africa in the colonial period. Now, maps can be quite deceptive in telling stories, but one in particular struck me forcefully. This is a c.1913 map of the African religious scene. The Muslim regions are quite familiar, and the mapmaker has done his/her … [Read More...]

Bonhoeffer Biography a Masterpiece

Charles Marsh's Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer has received much attention since its release several months back, partlyfor two reasons. First, Marsh discusses Bonhoeffer's apparently homoerotic relationship with Eberhard Bethge at considerable length. For a figure beloved by many … [Read More...]

You Body and God

I recently had the privilege of pre-reading Rob Moll's forthcoming book, What Your Body Knows About God (November 2014, IVP).  In it, Moll distills difficult scientific research, making sense of it in light of historic Christian practices--particularly those targeting personal transformation.   … [Read More...]

A Family Guide to Visiting Philadelphia

There are few better cities in America for a history-themed visit than Philadelphia. We recently returned from a week and a half visit to Philly and Princeton, where I was a faculty leader for a wonderful Witherspoon Institute seminar. (I highly recommend their excellent seminars, which range across … [Read More...]

ENDING THE DRAFT

For obvious reasons, historians concern themselves with writing about things that happened, rather than others that did not exist, or that ceased to happen. In one instance though, we can learn a lot about modern America from tracing the long-term cultural impact of something that finished over … [Read More...]

PICTURING THE GREAT WAR: A WORLD ON THE CROSS

In my book The Great and Holy War, I write at some length about the propaganda imagery of the war, and how thoroughly it drew on Christian imagery, especially Christ himself, and the Crucifixion.Posters and cartoons depicted whole nations as the victims of crucifixion. Usually they were … [Read More...]

A Time to Mourn

There are so many things that compete for our attention. Gaza, Ukraine, and Ebola, deservedly so. Celebrity cheating rumors, royal baby rumors, not as important as wars and rumors of wars. Perhaps as it need be, most of us are consumed with our own jobs, our own families, and our own … [Read More...]

Scripture as Usable History II

In my last post I described the pushback from some American evangelicals against God-and-country Bibles like the Patriot's Bible or the Bicentennial Bible. Another woefully understudied, but potentially significant, source of dissent is global evangelicalism. To my knowledge Mark Noll is one of the … [Read More...]

How Violent Was American Slavery? Colonial Slave Codes

Last week I wrote about the challenges colonial American missionaries faced when trying to evangelize slaves without fundamentally challenging the institution of slavery. Starting in the eighteenth century, growing numbers of Christians began to express concerns about the immorality of slavery, at … [Read More...]


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