Massacre of Innocents


The senseless tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut prior to Christmas continues to haunt me.  We have had school shootings in this country before, to be sure, but the age of the victims puts this case, in my mind at least, in a category by itself. Too bad for public discourse that the “lesson” of this tragedy [Read More...]


I am delighted to receive a quite unexpected endorsement for one of my books. In 2001, I published a book on Internet child pornography, called Beyond Tolerance. Its impact was limited by the fact that it appeared about a week before 9/11 (!) but it found a steady market among professionals and law enforcement. It [Read More...]

What Mormons Believe


At first glance, Mormonism is not an especially creedal religion. Brigham Young, the second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, demanded practical, ongoing self-sacrificial service to the church, not an assent to a particular group of doctrines. After his 1848 return to the Salt Lake Valley, Young informed its early settlers [Read More...]


So much of Christian history is about the planting and rise of communities, a saga of creators and builders. On occasion, though, churches are destroyed, to the point that Christianity is eliminated entirely in particular regions. Alternatively, it is reduced to a miserable handful of clandestine believers faced with the daily danger of persecution and [Read More...]

No Tolerance for the Intolerant

I enjoyed Philip Jenkins’s recent critique of a NYT piece on waning urban spirituality, noting that the Times perceived waning spirituality out of a desire for spirituality (or at least anything approaching traditional Christianity) to wane. Spurred on by his post, I reflected on some recent coverage of religion in the Boston Globe (digested during [Read More...]

Mark Noll on Eugene Genovese and Henry May

Cross-posted at The Way of Improvement Leads Home Yesterday I received in the mail the January/February 2012 issue of Books & Culture.  As usual, it is loaded with great stuff and I look forward to exploring it more fully over the course of the next few weeks. This month’s issue begins with Mark Noll’s tribute [Read More...]

New Year’s Resolution: Read More Books!

Happy New Year! I have routinely resolved at the New Year that I’d like to read more, and to read more intentionally. (Of course, a major part of my job as a history professor is reading, and much of that reading is pleasurable, but I am talking about the kind of non-professional reading I do [Read More...]