Reading Tocqueville in Cairo

If Alexis de Tocqueville were alive today to witness the churning unrest and revolutions sweeping North Africa and Middle East in recent years, he would observe numerous contrasts with what he saw in America in the 1830s.  But permit me to speculate on one similarity that might catch his eye.  Unlike the French Revolution, which [Read More...]

THE DARK AGES

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As a Cambridge undergraduate in the 1970s, my emphasis (major) was in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, a peculiar product of that university. Essentially, ASNC was about the Dark Ages in the British Isles and Scandinavia from roughly 400 through 1100AD, studied from a broad interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on history, literature, languages, art history and archaeology. [Read More...]

Religion behind the Iron Curtain

Father Szaléz Kiss

Although one could find fuller treatments of the subject elsewhere, I was very intrigued by Anne Applebaum’s thoughtful treatment of religion in Eastern Europe in the first decade after the end of WWII. [See the first part of this review of Applebaum's The Iron Curtain here]. First of all, Applebaum allows for a healthy measure [Read More...]

More on the History Black Evangelicalism in America

A couple of weeks ago I asked; “Where Are the Studies of Twentieth-Century Black Evangelicalism?”  I was working on an article on evangelical political engagement and wanted to say something about the role of Black evangelicals, but I was unable to find any good stuff on the subject. Thanks to the readers of The Anxious [Read More...]

“Look For a Building With a Cross On It”: Escaping North Korea

Melanie Kirkpatrick’s disturbing yet riveting Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia’s Underground Railroad tells a story the desperate souls who try to flee totalitarian North Korea, and the few who make it. Those who succeed often receive aid from Christians, both Asians and westerners, who are courageous laborers in what Kirkpatrick describes as [Read More...]

WHY MONKS MATTER

I have recently been posting about the end of the church in Roman Britain, mainly as a case study in how churches die. Just to recap, the old church disintegrated after 450 or so, at least in the south and east of the island – that is, southern and Eastern England – but it survived [Read More...]

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week: Andrew Sullivan on blogging Fifty-four inaugural addresses and American history From the college classroom to writing novels and teaching high school students Is Obama the “Reagan of the Left?”  And here. An 1864 antislavery children’s book Garry Wills on the South Rare color photos from [Read More...]

BRITAIN, AFRICA, AND THE END OF ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY

I have recently been discussing the destruction of the church that flourished in Roman Britain up through the fifth century. Historians differ greatly on how far they think the fifth and sixth centuries marked a major change of population in the country, or at least the south and east of the island – what became [Read More...]

Anne Applebaum’s The Iron Curtain

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Oftentimes the most powerful accounts of “religious history” are found in books addressing much broader topics. Such is the case in Anne Applebaum’s convincing and eloquent The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (Doubleday, 2012). Focusing on events in East Germany, Poland, and Hungary, Applebaum uses both archival sources and oral interviews to [Read More...]

The debate over David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies continues

From John Fea: The conservative Christian World Magazine has published a lengthy essay by Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter drawn largely from their book, Getting Jefferson Right. The fitting title of their article is “David Barton is Wrong.” David Barton offers a lengthy rebuttal to Getting Jefferson Right.  The fitting title of his article is [Read More...]


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