Under God

Don’t blame the book, blame the reviewer. Kevin M. Kruse has a new book called One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (Basic Books, 2015). It’s a scholarly and well-researched work, on a significant topic. Kruse’s argument is that much of what we think of today as the fundamental institutions and ideologies [Read More...]

Wolf Hall’s Prophetess

Barton

Having transitioned from Downton Abbey to Wolf Hall, PBS’s Masterpiece Theater has entered onto terrain far more religious and historically treacherous. George Weigel recently commented on the anti-Catholicism that he alleges permeates the thought and writing of Hillary Mantel’s novel that serves as the basis for the television series. I haven’t read the novels, but [Read More...]

Journal Full of Joy

Fides et Historia

Of the reading of journals, there is no end, and yet much reading of them is a weariness.   -Ecclesiastes 12:12, MAV* In every vocation, some tasks bring joy while others seem like… work.  For academics, keeping up with the latest scholarship in your field is a must.  And yet sometimes the task feels like impossible work. [Read More...]

What’s at Stake in Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law?

Dr. Barry Hankins is professor of history at Baylor University, and the co-author, with Thomas Kidd, of the new book Baptists in America: A History. He recently wrote about the controversy over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, at the Waco Tribune-Herald. What’s really at stake with the Indiana religious freedom law? Before forming conclusions, a little history [Read More...]

Envisioning Islam

9780520284944

A short post on an important topic. I have written a good deal on Eastern Christian communities, especially their interactions with early Islam. I am therefore delighted to see not just one but two new books on these matters by Michael Philip Penn. I have read neither as yet, but I know Penn to be [Read More...]

Somewhere, Beyond The Sea

As I described in my last post, the Non-Jurors were a High Church movement within the Church of England, who refused to take oaths to the new regime after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Their leaders were pious and thoughtful, with a deep interest in church history and liturgy, and a special focus in the [Read More...]

The Mormon Bonhoeffer

20th-century Martyrs, Westminster Abbey

In the 1970s, Latter-day Saint leaders began to quote C.S. Lewis in the semi-annual General Conference talks. Earlier this month, Mormon Apostle D. Todd Cristofferson made a rather striking reference to the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a discussion of marriage. Cristofferson quoted at length from a May 19, 1943 sermon that Bonhoeffer wrote while [Read More...]

The United States of Freberg

I cringe a bit when my children break into show tunes while in public. Selections from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat are fine (though they’re still stumbling through the “red and yellow and green and brown/And scarlet and black and ochre and peach/And lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve . . .” part). My [Read More...]

Should You Pursue a Ph.D.?

I routinely get questions from undergraduate and Master’s students, at Baylor and elsewhere, about applying to Ph.D. programs. Here is some of my standard advice. How do I choose a Ph.D. program? I had a wonderful experience in my graduate program at Notre Dame, especially because of the particular historian (George Marsden) with whom I worked. [Read More...]

Non-Jurors

I recently reconnected with some old friends – well, very old really, about three centuries in fact. I have long been interested in those conservative European and North American believers who forsake Western denominations that they see as too liberal, and who place themselves under the authority of some African or Asian prelate. The best [Read More...]


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