About David Swartz

Mother Teresa, Eastern Kentucky, and Transnational Charity

The canonization of Mother Teresa on September 4 was a global affair. The coronation occurred at the Vatican in front of 120,000 people. The people in her homeland of Macedonia rejoiced. So did the members of the Missionaries of Charity, the blue-and-white robed religious order she founded in 1950. At the original site of the [Read More…]

The Space Between and the Migration of Identity

Today’s guest post comes from Jenny McGill. She is the author of Religious Identity and Cultural Negotiation: Toward a Theology of Christian Identity in Migration (Pickwick 2016). I had the pleasure of reading the book in manuscript form. Here’s my endorsement: “This genre-bending book, drawing from social science and theology, considers the identity construction of [Read More…]

Notes to First-Year Students on Mystery and the Liberal Arts

Today’s post comes from a talk I gave several years ago at Asbury University, where I teach history. After welcoming nearly 400 new students to campus for orientation, we didn’t waste any time starting up academic conversations. All incoming students read G.K. Chesterton’s mystery thriller The Man Who Was Thursday for their liberal arts seminar, [Read More…]

How Activists Claimed Primary Season (for awhile)

During the Democratic National Convention, supporters of Bernie Sanders denounced the superdelegate system as rigged. For their part, some Republican Party elites sought to derail Donald Trump’s nomination by changing convention rules to release already-pledged superdelegates to vote against Trump. In the face of seemingly universal denunciations of the superdelegate system, it’s worth considering its [Read More…]

Trump, Evangelicals, and the Democratic Party

White evangelicals have become such an entrenched bloc in the Republican Party that four out of every five of them plan to vote for Trump. [Read more…]

Evangelicals, Local Churches, and Transformational Advocacy

Historically, evangelicals have hesitated to engage structures and systems. The book Advocating for Justice represents a new trajectory. This guest post, by Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy of Bread for the World, describes how one local congregation in Indiana is pushing for immigration reform. –David *** Evangelicals can effectively practice transformational advocacy in the local church. Here [Read More…]

Moving Beyond “When Helping Hurts”

This guest post comes from Steve Offutt, a professor of development studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is author of New Centers of Global Evangelicalism in Latin America and Africa (Cambridge University Press 2015) and editor of an important new book, Advocating for Justice (Baker 2016), that challenges older evangelical approaches to development work. *** When [Read More…]

The Limits of a Narrow Evangelical Advocacy

Today’s guest post comes from David Bronkema, Associate Professor of International Development at Eastern University near Philadelphia. He is author of “Foster Just and Sustainable Economic Development,” in Glen Stassen, ed, Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War and co-author of the just-released Advocating for Justice: An Evangelical Vision for Transforming Systems and Structures. *** [Read More…]

How Evangelicals Turned from a Born-Again Christian to a Divorced Hollywood Actor

Many evangelicals became deeply disillusioned with Carter’s presidency. The sharp decline in ticket-splitting from 1976 to 1980—that is, voting for Carter at the top of the ticket and then for Republicans elsewhere on their ballots—suggested that support for Carter in 1976 was in fact an anomaly rooted in evangelical identity. What happened between 1976 and [Read More…]

The Limits of Evangelical Identity Politics

Jimmy Carter’s born-again credentials drew many evangelicals to the polls in 1976. Evangelicals who had never campaigned for a candidate campaigned for Carter. Jerry Falwell, future founder of the Moral Majority, encouraged evangelicals to vote for the Democratic candidate. Pat Robertson, who claimed credit for Carter’s win in the Pennsylvania primary, hosted the candidate on [Read More…]


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