Nicholas of Cusa on the Diversity of Religions

In my last post, I profiled Raymond Llull (1232-1316) as a forerunner of modern-day interreligious dialogue. In this one, and for the same reason, I profile Nicholas of Cusa (1401-61), a fascinating figure in the Christian intellectual tradition. A native of Kues on the Mosel river, Cusa received his education at Heidelberg, Padua, and Cologne. [Read More…]

Heroes of the Faith: True, but not Accurate

Today at the Anxious Bench we welcome Bruce Berglund, professor of history at Calvin College. He is co-editor of the collection of essays, Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe. His book Castle and Cathedral in Modern Prague: Longing for the Sacred in a Skeptical Age will be published this March by Central European University Press.   [Read More…]

Dance and the Church: A History More Complicated than Footloose…

Today we are pleased to welcome Lynneth Miller to the Anxious Bench. Lynneth is a PhD candidate in the Baylor History department specializing in British and Women’s History. She holds an MLitt from St. Andrews and is writing a dissertation on Dance and the Church in England. It’s the climatic showdown at the heart of [Read More…]

Mandates from the Masses and the Call to Courageous Christian Scholarship

Today’s guest post comes to us from Scott Culpepper, Associate Professor of History at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Culpepper teaches courses on the early modern Atlantic World and Religion in American Culture. He holds a Ph.D. from Baylor University and is the author of Francis Johnson and the English Separatist Influence (Mercer, 2011).  [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…]

Lessons from a Portrait Project

Welcome, new year! By the end of 2016 it had become a little too fashionable to express relief that that wretched year was over.  But just turning a calendar page is cheap satisfaction, since lots of the trouble we carried in the previous year comes sloshing over into the new. Among those troubles, the trial of Charleston [Read More…]

Fear No Evil: Christian Witness in a Time of Darkness

A truck plows into crowds at a Berlin Christmas market. Heart-wrenching images from Aleppo disquiet us on a daily basis. A young white man is convicted in the horrific killing of nine African American worshippers. The fourth anniversary of Sandy Hook comes and goes. Stories of police violence continue to surface. And in the midst [Read More…]

The Most Influential Theologian You’ve Never Heard of

Who is Josef Kleutgen (1811-1883)?  The name is not a household name, except in my household!  I’ve recently completed a book manuscript—The Pope and the Professor: Pius IX, Ignaz von Döllinger, and the Quandary of the Modern Age—and Kleutgen figures quite prominently in it.  He was arguably the ablest student of Thomas Aquinas in the [Read More…]

Dispelling Darkness: A Christian Paradox

Tis the season. Christmas music is everywhere. I’m not a complete Grinch when it comes to Christmas music, but really… “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”? So much wrong with this… I do sing Rudolf and Frosty with my kids, and I actually enjoy listening to my daughter pound out carol after carol from her beginning piano [Read More…]

Indiana’s Other Claim to 2016 Fame

A big day is nearly upon us.  Not as big as Christmas, but not small either.  December 11 marks the 200th birthday of the state of Indiana.  Some Hoosiers have been celebrating all year already, but the rest of the country might whoop it up too. If you weren’t thinking that a state bicentennial was [Read More…]