What Makes for the Best Historical Movies? (part 1)

How should we evaluate historical movies like Free State of Jones? (part 1 of 3) [Read more…]

Fertility and Faith

I have written a good deal about the relationship between demographics and religious loyalties, and this theme has critical implications for the future development of all the world’s faiths. This topic will probably be the theme of my next book, so let me take the opportunity offered by the blog format to lay out some [Read More…]

Two Sides of One Coin? (Buddhist and Christian Decline, Part III)

I have been comparing the decline of two once mighty religious systems, namely Buddhism in India, and Christianity in the Middle East. By the late Middle Ages, both were damaged irreparably, and had shrunk to shadows of their former selves. Indian Buddhism came close to extinction. Both the Christian and Buddhist stories raise the fundamental [Read More…]

Forgeries and Schadenfreude

Nearly four years ago, Karen King publicized a Coptic manuscript she had dated to the fourth-century. It contains the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife.’” King did not claim the papyrus as evidence that the historical Jesus had married, but she did consider it evidence that early communities of Christians believed that he had. [Read More…]

Evangelicals, Local Churches, and Transformational Advocacy

Historically, evangelicals have hesitated to engage structures and systems. The book Advocating for Justice represents a new trajectory. This guest post, by Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy of Bread for the World, describes how one local congregation in Indiana is pushing for immigration reform. –David *** Evangelicals can effectively practice transformational advocacy in the local church. Here [Read More…]

A Brief History of Patriotic Hymns

Just how often have patriotic songs appeared in American hymnals? [Read more…]

Meet Our Newest Contributors: Kristin Du Mez and Tim Gloege

An interview with Kristin Du Mez and Tim Gloege, the two newest members of The Anxious Bench [Read more…]

God, Gotham, and Jon Butler

I have just read an admirably concise essay that is one of the smartest and most interesting contributions to American religious history that I have read in a long time. In April, Jon Butler gave his Presidential Address to the Organization of American Historians, which has now been published as “God, Gotham, and Modernity,” in [Read More…]

Two Sides of One Coin? (Buddhist and Christian Decline, Part II)

Last time, I stated a problem. In the early centuries of the Christian era, Buddhism was an immensely successful and thriving faith, which had its main homeland in India. Between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, though, Indian Buddhism was progressively weakened, to the point of virtual destruction. So totally was it swept away that not [Read More…]

History, Memory, and Relevance: Reflections on Christian Feminism Today

Last week I attended the biennial Christian Feminism Today conference, an organization better known among historians by its previous name, the EEWC (Evangelical and Ecumenical Women’s Conference), or perhaps even by its original name, the EWC (Evangelical Women’s Caucus). The EWC was formed in 1973 out of the movement of progressive evangelicals that came together [Read More…]


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