The Religious Revolution of the 1970s: The Case of Israel

I have been posting about the aggressive revival of religious politics during the mid-1970s, and suggested parallels between events in the United States and many other nations around the world in the very same years. Specifically, I offered a model for what was happening at this time, and which had led to discontent being expressed [Read More…]

The 1970s and the Revenge of God

In my last blogpost, I discussed the political and cultural transformations of the 1970s, a global shift not just to conservatism but particularly to religious traditionalism. In different forms, we see such a pattern in the US, but also in countries like Israel, Iran and India, and across the Islamic world. In the words of [Read More…]

An Open Letter to the ESV Translation Committee

I’m not a biblical translator, or even a biblical scholar. I’m a historian. As a historian, I was intrigued when I heard the news that “the Permanent Text of the ESV Bible” had been released. (The English Standard Version, for those not in the know, is an “essentially literal” translation of the Revised Standard Version.) [Read More…]

Burning Witches in Medieval Europe?

Kilkenny lies deep in southern Ireland. Its history lies just as deep in the medieval past. The thirteenth-century cathedral of St. Canice stands next to a 9th-century monastic tower; a castle still sits on the site of William Marshall’s 12th-century Norman foundations; and a fourteenth-century inn, Kyteler’s Inn, still operates in the old town. The inn [Read More…]

Beyond Books: “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest”

Chris Gehrz continues his series on types of Christian writing other than books by reflecting on table graces like “Come, Lord Jesus, Be Our Guest” [Read more…]

Counting Down to the Reformation at 500

There’s an African proverb, I am told, that goes like this: “If I don’t beat my own drum, who will?” In this spirit, permit me to make known to Anxious-Bench readers two publications of mine. The first is recently out; the second will be out in a matter of weeks. It has been a delight [Read More…]

The Anxious Bench at the Conference on Faith and History

Where you can hear Anxious Bench contributors at next month’s 30th biennial meeting of the Conference on Faith and History [Read more…]

When The Backwardness Came Back

In a recent post, I referred to economic pressures, and particularly oil prices, as a factor driving social change. Over my next few entries, I will expand on that point with a focus on a particularly critical era, namely the 1970s. Economic crisis – specifically, the oil crisis – drove social changes, and radically reshaped [Read More…]

Black Church, White Jesus

Jesus and I were the only white people in the room. When I was twenty years old, I went to Washington for an unpaid summer internship. The nonprofit arranged for me to stay in a small cottage behind a lawyer’s house in one of the area’s affluent suburbs. In the cottage, there was no air [Read More…]

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…]