I Do Not Owe “Total Allegiance” to America

In his inaugural address, Donald Trump exhorted “total allegiance” to the U.S.A. That’s not a commitment Christians (or students of 20th century history) should make. [Read more…]

Shadows of the Future

“Answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are they shadows of things that may be, only?” (Ebenezer Scrooge, to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) I have been discussing some of the Megatrends that had transformed the US since the mid-1970s. (By the way, the word [Read More…]

The Desecration of Indian Corpses

In February 1850, Mormon settlers began a brief but bloody campaign against several bands of Ute Indians in Utah Valley. On February 13, the Mormons captured a group of Indians, promising them their lives and safety. They lied. “[W]e shall deal with them in the most summary manner as soon as another day favors us [Read More…]

Seeking God in The Holocaust

A new book helps us understand how Europeans on both sides of World War II turned to faith to make meaning of unfathomable violence and suffering [Read more…]

When did “Interreligious Dialogue” begin?

It is hard to find today a major city that does not have an “interfaith” or “interreligious” council or a university that does not sponsor some sort of “dialogue” among world religions. But when and where did “interreligious dialogue” begin? Most scholars would point to Chicago in 1893 when the first “Parliament of the World’s [Read More…]

And the Non-Stories

Recently, I write about some of the megatrends that have shaped American religion over the past few decades. Let me also add some trends that would likely have been forecast and expected in earlier decades, but which have not in fact occurred. It is interesting why expectations have been wide of the mark. I would [Read More…]

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…]