Surviving Rejection on the Academic Job Market

I still remember checking my watch and thinking vaguely about what I would eat for lunch. It was around lunchtime, so normally there wouldn’t have been anything odd about my wandering thoughts. Except that I was in the middle of a job interview for a tenure-track position. I knew from the direction of the conversation that [Read More…]

How Can Christians Love Their LGBT Neighbors? Start by Learning Their History

How studying LGBT history is a way of loving our neighbors in the wake of the tragedy in Orlando [Read more…]

British Christians Debate “Brexit”

In nine days British voters will determine if their country remains a member of the European Union, as it’s been since 1973. (If you’re not familiar with the details of this referendum, the BBC can bring you up to speed.)  Though British Christians are no longer a majority in what prime minister David Cameron insists is a “Christian country,” they may make the difference in a tightly contested campaign [Read More…]

The Hierarchy of Presses

A learned friend once made an excellent point, which sounds like a joke but is not. The good news, he said, is that we live today in the golden age of book publishing. The bad news, though, is that we live in the golden age of book publishing. What he meant was that today, more [Read More…]

The Byzantine Dark Ages

In my last post, I urged the use of the unpopular term “Dark Age” as a valid historical and archaeological concept. Specifically, I suggested that it should refer to eras of “systematic societal collapse and cultural impoverishment, reflected in collapsing population levels, and acute declines in urbanization, technology, literacy, productivity and communications.” This is in [Read More…]

The Future of American Evangelicalism

Nearly twenty years ago, Christian Smith assessed American evangelicalism as “embattled but thriving.” Nowadays, just “embattled” seems more apt for the preeminent impulse in the *history of American religion (*at least for much of that history). From the rise of the “Nones” to the collapse of the Religious Right to declines in church membership, the [Read More…]

The Limits of a Narrow Evangelical Advocacy

Today’s guest post comes from David Bronkema, Associate Professor of International Development at Eastern University near Philadelphia. He is author of “Foster Just and Sustainable Economic Development,” in Glen Stassen, ed, Just Peacemaking: Ten Practices for Abolishing War and co-author of the just-released Advocating for Justice: An Evangelical Vision for Transforming Systems and Structures. *** [Read More…]

Changes at the Bench

The Anxious Bench began its life as a blog some four years ago. Since then, we’ve published more than a thousand posts on a wide variety of themes pertaining to the global history of Christianity. As is the case with many group blogs, on occasion individuals have departed and new contributors have taken a seat on the [Read More…]

Bringing Back the Dark Ages

I am about to say something really contentious and controversial: Dark Ages happen, and I believe in them. And I actually have some new evidence to support that shocking conclusion. Oddly, this seemingly abstruse topic is in the news right now. The agency English Heritage just published a timeline showing the era 410-1066 as the [Read More…]

A Punch in the Gut

Rupert Neudeck died earlier this week at the age of seventy-seven. Mostly unknown in the United States, Neudeck was among Europe’s most radical and provocative humanitarians of the last half-century. Neudeck attracted public attention in 1979 when he, his wife Christel, and several high-profile supporters chartered the freighter Cap Anamur in a privately funded effort [Read More…]


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