The United States of Freberg

I cringe a bit when my children break into show tunes while in public. Selections from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat are fine (though they’re still stumbling through the “red and yellow and green and brown/And scarlet and black and ochre and peach/And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve . . .” part). My [Read More...]

Beyond Playboy: The Inner Life of Jimmy Carter

In 1976 Playboy magazine conducted its infamous interview of Democratic presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. The interview nearly cost Carter the election. Secular pundits mocked his confession of “adultery in my heart.” Conservative Christians not only disagreed with his use of the word screw but objected that Carter would grant the salacious magazine an interview in [Read More...]

The Entrepreneurial Evangelicals

The title refers not to Sam Walton of Wal-Mart fame or to George Pepperdine, who started Western Auto Supply and used the money to found Pepperdine University. The new entrepreneurial evangelicals are from the Majority World. Esteemed Anxious Bench contributor Philip Jenkins has a great line in The Next Christendom: “If we want to visualize [Read More...]

The Hare with Amber Eyes

Before reading this book, I had never heard of netsuke, which are intricate miniature ornaments, usually carved from wood or ivory and representing people, animals, the professions, mythical creatures, and sexual acts. Worn to hang items from a kimono (which have no pockets), they reflect the rich culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan. In 2005 [Read More...]

Putin-Loving Evangelicals

Despite some recent reports that the second ceasefire in the war in Ukraine is “generally holding,” there is not much reason for hope. The Ukrainian military says that pro-Russian rebels has attacked 112 times since early Sunday morning. Kiev says that it won’t remove heavy weapons from the front line. And the most recent headline [Read More...]

Molly Worthen on the Mennonites

In 1947 future Christianity Today editor Carl Henry wrote The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. This rebuke of his heritage’s cultural isolationism helped jumpstart the neo-evangelical movement headlined by Billy Graham, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the National Association of Evangelicals. In 1955 John Howard Yoder, who went on to teach at what became Anabaptist Mennonite [Read More...]

Divided by Reason: Molly Worthen on Evangelicalism

For good reason, Molly Worthen’s Apostles of Reason has enjoyed a lot of attention (Slate, Christian Century, National Review, Religion and American History blog, The Nation). It is a wonderfully provocative and ambitious book with a panorama of fascinating and diverse characters. As I point out in my review of the book over at Marginalia, [Read More...]

Religious History at the AHA

I wasn’t able to attend the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in New York City this year. But blogs and twitter have allowed me to track some of the conversation in the area of religious history, my area of research specialty. There were dozens and dozens of panels, but here are several that [Read More...]

The Christmas Truce and the Meaning of Peace in “No Man’s Land”

I’m pleased to feature a guest post from Bradley Strait, a senior history major at Asbury University. This is based in part on a paper he wrote for the class “Seminar on War, Peace, and Faith.” *** One hundred-years ago, almost to the day, in 1914, a Christmas story emerged out of the trenches. As [Read More...]

The Silence Exercise

I’ve been trying of late to incorporate more diverse assignments and methods of instruction in my teaching. Each semester now in my World Civilizations course, I ask students to write a short paper on what I call the “silence exercise.” As odd as it may seem, merely maintaining silence for a while can be a [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X