A New Moral Vision

If you clicked on this link because you’re desperately seeking a new moral vision, this might not be exactly what you’re looking for. But perhaps you can find here a new vantage point from which to pursue this quest… In her new book A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American [Read More…]

Make a Good Impression at Academic Conferences (Please!)

It was sunny and warm today in Texas without a snow cloud in sight. I wore short sleeves and left all my coats and scarves at home. And, most importantly, I didn’t have to worry about slipping on a sludgy sidewalk. For me, a native Texan, the almost 80-degree weather was a relief after spending [Read More…]

Lewis, Tolkien, and the Shadow of War

Two of the most famous British veterans of World War I were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote their greatest works in the shadow of the Great War. [Read more…]

Branching Paths and Alternate Histories

I have long valued Rick Perlstein as an excellent scholar of recent American history, chiefly working on the 1960s and 1970s. Based on his recent writings, I also see that he must be a superlative teacher. Please bear those comments in mind when I express some disagreement with him on the theme of counter-factual history, [Read More…]

Forty Years On: American Megatrends

I am presently preparing some courses that I will teach at Baylor on “Late Modern” US history, defined as the era since 1975 or so. As I have asked before in a different context, what are the broad themes that we would expect in that era? What are the most significant changes that have occurred [Read More…]

John Knox and His Women

Jane Dawson begins and ends her biography of John Knox with touching, familial scenes. The first is the 1557 baptism of Knox’s son Nathaniel in Geneva. Dawson writes that “Knox was standing beneath the pulpit proudly cradling his newborn son in his arms.” Knox stood next to his ministerial friend William Whittingham. A second friend, [Read More…]

Studying Islam as a Christian Historian

What it’s like to study the history of Islam as a Christian scholar? Bethel University professor Amy Poppinga shares her experience. [Read more…]

Teaching the Great War Where It Was Fought

“You have the best job.” So said an acquaintance at the Minnesota Historical Society earlier this month. Now, I happen to think that designing museum exhibits would be pretty cool, but I couldn’t argue. Not only did I have a sabbatical all fall, not only did I spend it with my wife, children, and parents, not only did it give us the chance [Read More…]

Finding Jesus’s Mother

Over the Christmas season, we naturally hear so much about Jesus’s mother, Mary, and in conversations, I am always a bit taken aback (not to mention amused) to find how many of the popular stories circulating her actually derive from ancient apocryphal sources. Sorry, no, she wasn’t a Temple Virgin, set aside for her special [Read More…]

Fear No Evil: Christian Witness in a Time of Darkness

A truck plows into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market. Heart-wrenching images from Aleppo disquiet us on a daily basis. A young white man is convicted in the horrific killing of nine African American worshippers. The fourth anniversary of Sandy Hook comes and goes. Stories of police violence continue to surface. And in the midst [Read More…]