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...]

The Good Lord Bird

good lord bird

My series on visions will resume in a few weeks. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that a film involving a young boy’s near-death vision of heaven and Jesus has become an unexpected hit. Right now, however, I’ve just finished reading The Good Lord Bird, last year’s National Book Award winning novel about John Brown’s [Read More...]

Picturing Pain

Southampton

Last week several dozen scholars of religion met at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom to discuss the global history of evangelicalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The conference, organized by Kendrick Oliver, whose research on religion and the space program you really must become acquainted with, was terrific. Papers ranged from [Read More...]

An Interview with Philip Jenkins on The Great and Holy War

My Baylor colleague and fellow Anxious Bench blogger Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Co-Director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the author of many books, including The Lost History of Christianity, Jesus Wars, and The Next Christendom. He has published articles and op-ed pieces [Read More...]

Moral Minority in Paperback

index

Perhaps because he practices the Christian humility encouraged by Miles Mullin this past week, our colleague David Swartz has failed to inform readers of the Anxious Bench that his history of the Evangelical Left is now available in paperback. See my praise of David’s book here and here. Needless to say, Moral Minority is readable, [Read More...]

THE GREAT AND HOLY WAR

9780062105097

Not long since, I posted about my current book project on the First World War, and especially its supernatural and apocalyptic dimensions. That grew out of a long-standing fascination with the period roughly between 1890-1920, and a host of writers I loved – from Conrad, Joyce and Kipling through Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood, Jack [Read More...]

Eucharistic Visionaries

Birgitta, ca. 1530

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been exploring the role of visions in the history of Christianity, specifically visions of Jesus. It was accepted by nearly all early Christians that men and women had been granted visions by the divine (and often of the divine), and it appears to have been widely accepted that at [Read More...]

Christian Humility? In Academia?

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  ~Philippians 2:3-4 (NRSV) Considering others more important than yourself by looking out for their interests manifests Christian humility and demonstrates conformity to the [Read More...]

Clemson vs. The Secularists

The football program at my beloved alma mater, Clemson University, has become the target of legal threats by the militant secularist/atheist group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This group trolls about the country, looking for evidences of religion in public life, and threatening lawsuits whenever such evidences are discovered. Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney is an [Read More...]

WALKING ON THE WATER

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I recently posted on Jesus’s Resurrection appearance in John 21, where the disciples meet him at the Sea of Galilee. I argued that this scene, or something like it, was the very oldest version of the Resurrection story as it would have been known, for instance, to Paul around 50AD, and that it long predated [Read More...]


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