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...]

SEEING IT THROUGH

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Here’s a question. I am going to quote a passage published in 1916 by a famous British novelist. Who was it? Religion is the first thing and the last thing, and until a 
man has found God and been found by God, he begins at no beginning, he works to no end. He may have [Read More...]

American Religion and Freemasonry

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Freemasonry is a tricky topic for historians of American religion, both in terms of classification and in terms of content. Masonry confuses, in part because of the many changes within its ranks over the course of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Still, good books exist on the topic, such as Stephen Bullock’s Revolutionary Brotherhood. [Read More...]

Where the Wind Leads

For the May 1st-15th Patheos Book Club In early 1979, Hoa Chung had a dream.  Although plans were coming together to leave communist-ruled Vietnam for a better life elsewhere, this dream was not a daydream of hope, but a vivid sleeping-dream.  In it, her husband Hoa and their eight children fell dead in the middle [Read More...]

Should Christians Date Online?

Our friend (and one of the fabulous Baylor history Ph.D. students) Paul Putz has a fascinating piece over at the Religion and Politics blog on the deep history of Christian matchmaking in America. After discussing the intriguing “matrimonial bureau” of Omaha pastor Charles Savidge in the early 20th century, Putz reflects on the contemporary relevance and challenges [Read More...]

LIVING THROUGH A REVOLUTION

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I was reading a fictional account in which a gay man asks a pastor, a long-time friend, to perform his same-sex wedding. Although the pastor tries to keep his cool, the prospect  appalls him. He warns that if this event did occur, he would avert his eyes in disgust if the two men kissed in [Read More...]

Anniversary Penance

This will not be Patheos’s best anniversary post. For starters, I just double-checked the guidelines and now see that anniversary posts were supposed to reach you between May 5 and May 7. I am late. Moreover, I have not prepared a video to upload for you to enjoy. This, however, is perhaps a blessing. A [Read More...]

Five from One: Happy Anniversary Patheos

As Tommy Kidd noted yesterday, we are in the middle of Patheos’ five-year-anniversary celebration.  Congratulations to Patheos for successfully “hosting the conversation on faith” for the past half-decade.  In my estimation, they have done a great job! For my part, this month marks a full year that I have had the privilege of writing for [Read More...]

Five Year Anniversary for Patheos and the Best of My Posts

Congratulations to Patheos on its five-year anniversary! As I note in the brief video here, I have written for Patheos for several years, first as a columnist, then as a blogger and coordinator for the Anxious Bench group historians’ blog. Here’s some of my best posts during my time writing for Patheos: “Ask Jesus into [Read More...]

BY SCHISMS RENT ASUNDER

Over the past twenty years, I have taught an introductory World Religions survey course. Obviously, it’s difficult to say too much about these diverse traditions in such a limited time, but I usually find myself stressing one theme in particular. As you look at the different faiths, they have many divisions and competing schools of [Read More...]


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