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…]

Blood From The Sky

I have not read this yet, but I just came across a book that looks exactly my kind of thing. This is Adam Jortner, Blood from the Sky: Miracles and Politics in the Early American Republic (University of Virginia Press, 2017). Here is the description: In the decades following the Revolution, the supernatural exploded across [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…]

Religion in The Olympics… and The Olympics as Religion

Surveying the complicated history of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the modern Olympics, whose founder meant them to represent “humanity’s superior religion.” [Read more…]

A Brief History of Patriotic Hymns

Just how often have patriotic songs appeared in American hymnals? [Read more…]

Be Nice to Missionaries

There are many good reasons to read Craig Harline’s Way Below the Angels: the pretty clearly troubled but not even close to tragic confessions of a real live Mormon missionary. First of all, it offers solid proof that at least some historians have a wicked sense of humor and can employ it in writing. This [Read More…]

Evangelical-Mormon “Detente”?

Adelle Banks of Religion News Service has a fascinating piece on signs of a possible new evangelical-Mormon detente, a thaw that goes even beyond the widespread evangelical support for Mitt Romney as president. She writes Last month, after being sure to get his caffeine fix at Starbucks, Southern Baptist leader Richard Land went where few [Read More…]

Religious Moments

Churches and their leaders  generally don’t take kindly to outside scrutiny, but that scrutiny is something that all institutions sorely need. The “Mormon moment” brought forth a deluge (see this compilation) of articles, op-eds, and blog posts about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ranging from the scholarly to the uninformed and from [Read More…]

Paul Ryan and the Curious Case of the Missing Evangelicals

We now have a presidential ticket without at least one candidate who is nominally Protestant. The Daily Caller‘s Matt K. Lewis saw this coming a couple weeks ago, and interviewed me about the prospect. “I don’t think it [will] be particularly important in this election,” says  Kidd … “Evangelicals would be heartened by the selection of [Read More…]

The Latter-Day Saints and Race

The Anxious Bench’s John Turner has a New York Times editorial this weekend titled “Why Race Is Still a Problem for Mormons.” (Turner is the author of a new biography from Harvard University Press titled Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet.) In the Times piece, Turner calls on Mormons to confront directly their church’s historic policies with regard to race, [Read More…]