THE BROOK KERITH

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I recently published the book The Great and Holy War, about the religious and apocalyptic dimensions of the First World War era. Looking at the best-selling books of those years gives us a sense of the strong and diverse religious interests of that time, and the results are often surprising. Who for instance would think [Read More...]

Dancing with Jesus

Anna Vetter grew up amid the poverty of the Thirty Years War. After marrying, she gave birth to seven children. Around the age of thirty, she grew ill and nearly died. Her husband abused her. A daughter died shortly after birth. Then her visions began. Anna Vetter saw God, angels, and Jesus Christ. In one [Read More...]

“Then I Shall Be a Wicked Child, and the Great God Will Be Very Angry with Me”

New England primer

One beautiful spring afternoon four years ago, I came across a horrifying scene in my living room. One of my two-year-old sons was standing on the back of the couch with his legs spread and his arms outstretched. My other two-year-old son stood facing him with an imaginary hammer in his hand and a determined [Read More...]

Fasting from Technology

In my small group at church we have been discussing the spiritual disciplines, and one of the recent topics was “unplugging,” or fasting from technology. Fasting is, of course, an ancient practice, but in the past fifty years or so it has been applied more and more to electronic devices, from the radio to the [Read More...]

Why is that church so ugly?

Though America’s religious history is lively and contains record of fidelity, courage, even sanctity, previous generations of Christians here—even recent ones—built some awful-looking churches. Churches that look like gymnasiums or strip malls, churches made of corrugated steel or dun-colored brick, churches crusted with decoration or lurid with lives of the saints: they make us ask [Read More...]

MASONS AND CATHOLICS

Klantreerome

I have been posting on the pervasive influence of Freemasonry in Anglo-American culture. Usually, that tradition was very wide-open and generous in terms of its racial and religious attitudes, but there is one enormous exception to that rule, and that concerns Roman Catholics. Indeed, much of European and American politics over the past two centuries [Read More...]

German Pietism

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Most of us who think about the history of American evangelicalism are Anglo-centric. That is, if we think about the roots of American evangelicalism or about its subsequent development, we think about England (and perhaps Scotland and Wales) if we think outside of North America at all. Douglas Shantz, in An Introduction to German Pietism: [Read More...]

A Review of David Swartz’s Moral Minority

David Swartz is off this week – here is an excellent review of David’s Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism, from the Church History blog:  It did not have to be. The Falwells, the Dobsons, the Reeds, the LaHayes, all those who may well have given more contours to the term “evangelical” than [Read More...]

An Interview with Steven Smith on Religious Liberty

I recently interviewed Steven D. Smith about his new Harvard University Press book, The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom. Smith is Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Co-Executive Director of the USD Institute for Law and Religion.  [Kidd] Thanks for taking the time for an interview, Professor Smith! [Read More...]

WHY MASONS MATTER

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Recently, John Turner did an important post on the theme of American Religion and Freemasonry. My own interests in the topic go back a long way. My first academic article ever, back in 1979 (!) was on Masons. (I was seven at the time). I specifically discussed the overlap between Jacobites and Freemasons in eighteenth [Read More...]


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