Personality-Driven Leadership, Evangelicalism, and the NFL

NFL

The National Football League (NFL) playoffs begin this weekend.  Over the next several weeks, twelve teams–six from each conference–will contend for a chance to play for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII, held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.  Holding a virtual monopoly on professional football in North America, the NFL manages [Read More...]

New Year’s Resolution: Read More Books!

[Today's post is from my Patheos archive] Happy New Year! I have routinely resolved at the New Year that I’d like to read more, and to read more intentionally. (Of course, a major part of my job as a history professor is reading, and much of that reading is pleasurable, but I am talking about [Read More...]

PROPOSING BOOKS

Tommy Kidd and I have both recently posted about writing and publishing – chiefly in history, but what we said also applies to plenty of other humanities disciplines. Assume you have an idea for a book, but don’t know exactly how to get it into print. Tommy mentioned submitting a proposal to the publisher, to [Read More...]

OUR BETTER ANGELS

I have been re-reading Steven Pinker’s provocative book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011). Briefly (and his argument is quite dense – 830 pages!) Pinker argues that mass violence and killing have steadily declined through the centuries, and that even the appalling wars of the twentieth century were far less [Read More...]

Reforming Hollywood

reforming hollywood

Reforming Hollywood is a complex and fascinating book. “The prevailing view in histories of American film,” writes William Romanowski, “is that Protestants were determined to impose the rule of censorship on Hollywood, and for that reason they refused to cooperate with the [Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America].” For a detailed and thorough review, [Read More...]

A Martin Luther Christmas

lutherchristmas

On the afternoon of December 25, 1530, Martin Luther preached a Christmas sermon. In the context of a still-chaotic Reformation, a combative Martin Luther railed against “papists,” “Junkers,” and “Turks” as he proclaimed the “joyful news” that the Christ child was the Lord and Savior. Luther was clearly embattled. In the wake of the 1529 [Read More...]

Was Christmas in Revolutionary America a Drunken Bash?

Our modern American Christmas is an anxious affair—and not just because of “those” relatives you don’t want to see. We so constantly remind ourselves to focus on Christ during Christmas that “The reason for the season” has become an American Christian mantra. In light of our annual December anxiety, I find it strangely comforting that [Read More...]

Martin Luther, Erich Honecker, and China’s Xi Jinping

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece on China’s new leader Xi Jinping’s efforts to shore up party loyalty by having government officials watch a new film about the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Produced by a retired Chinese major general, the six-part documentary points a finger at Mikhail Gorbachev, not the communist system [Read More...]

WRITING AND PUBLISHING HISTORY

chabot-valley

I was hugely grateful for Tommy Kidd’s recent column on publishing in history. His post took so many themes that are quite familiar to academics and professional scholars, and then unpacked them for non-specialists in an extraordinarily valuable way. That was a real contribution. Like Tommy, I also lay claim to being a prolific publisher. [Read More...]

The Latter-day Saints and Anti-Polygamy Laws

Sister_Wives_TV_series_logo

One would think that with the half-decade “Mormon moment” now well past, Mormonism would now generate news only infrequently. That is not quite turning out to be the case. New missionary requirements, concerns about internet-driven apostasy, the recent statement on the priesthood ban, and now a Utah District Court decision that strikes down part (but [Read More...]


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