A Spiritual (But Not Religious) Biography of Charles Lindbergh

Chris introduces his next book project: a spiritual (but not religious) biography of Charles A. Lindbergh. [Read more…]

Alternative Scriptures: Finding the First Scrolls

I began this “Alternative Scriptures” series by noting the discovery of a “Dead Sea Scroll” type manuscript in the Genizah of a Cairo synagogue, in the 1890s. Tracing the probable history of that document tells a fascinating story. This “Zadokite Fragment” originated either at Qumran or another site belonging to the same sect, presumably around [Read More…]

Alternative Scriptures: A Bit Of Bible Long Lost

How an American poet popularized the Gospel of Thomas [Read more…]

The Quaker Jesus

In October 1656, James Nayler rode into the English city of Bristol, accompanied by a small band of men and women who sang hosannas. Understood to have recreated Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and accused of claiming to be Jesus Christ, Parliament convicted Nayler of “horrid blasphemy.” Nayler was scourged with the whip, his flesh [Read More…]

The Anxious Bench’s Favorite Historic Sites West of the Mississippi

If you’re traveling in the western United States this summer, consider visiting some more of our bloggers’ favorite historical sites. [Read more…]

A Farang Scholar in Thailand

It’s good to be back at the Anxious Bench after a spring semester hiatus. As guests published a series of terrific posts in my place, I read them from Thailand, where my family and I spent over two months. We drove on the other side of the road, bathed elephants in mud pits, watched minor-league [Read More…]

The Anxious Bench’s Favorite Historic Sites East of the Mississippi

Let The Anxious Bench help you plan your summer travels, as we share some of our favorite historic sites in the eastern United States. [Read more…]

Does Hamilton Have to Sing?

Step away from that soundtrack! Last month Library of America released The Essential Hamilton by Yale professor Joanne B. Freeman, who has been writing and teaching about Alexander Hamilton and colleagues for over two decades. John Williams’s recent New York Times mention of the book describes it as “Hamilton Minus Music,” or, “a more direct [Read More…]

Alternative Scriptures: Jesus, the Zadokites, and the Women’s Home Companion

I have been posting on the modern discovery of Biblical Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, and suggesting that such texts were actually widely known and discussed long before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, or of the Nag Hammadi library. In fact, the existence of these texts was amazingly mainstream public knowledge. How mainstream? Well, how [Read More…]

Slow Cooking: The College Classroom and American Civic Life

 Today we welcome Will Katerberg to the Anxious Bench. Will is Professor of History at Calvin College, where he also serves as Associate Dean and Director of the Mellema Program in Western American Studies.  The classroom reminds me about what’s possible. And what seems impossible. This year I taught a section of Developing a Christian [Read More…]