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John Fea
Columnist

John Fea (Ph.D, Stony Brook University, 1999) is Associate Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.  Fea has written extensively for both scholarly and popular audiences.

He is the author of The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), Was America Founded as a Christian Nation: A Historical Introduction (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2011) and co-editor of  Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation. (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010).    He is currently working on projects related to religion and the American Revolution, Christianity and the study of the past, and the memory of a tea-burning in a small American town.

John's essays and reviews on the history of American culture have appeared in The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, The Journal of the Early Republic, Explorations in Early American Culture, the New Pantagruel, The Cresset, and Common Place.  He has also written for the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Daily News, Houston Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Harrisburg Patriot News, Salt Lake City Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and other newspapers.  He blogs daily at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

Works by John Fea
Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | February 11, 2013
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What I Learned from J.D. Salinger
John Fea | June 13, 2012
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The Founding Fathers Were Not Deists
John Fea | February 02, 2011
There were more Christians than deists among the founding fathers, and even those who......
How to Get a College Education
John Fea | September 20, 2011
Too many Christian parents want college to be like a four-year church camp. Real......
The Mis-education of Evangelicals
John Fea | July 19, 2011
Why Christian public intellectuals need to escape the ivory tower and popularize their......
Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | December 24, 2012
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What Does Democracy Require of Us?
John Fea | October 24, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | December 03, 2012
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Preaching Bonhoeffer and the Uses of the Past
John Fea | November 14, 2012
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Why I am Glad the Election is Over
John Fea | November 07, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | November 04, 2012
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The Faithful Scholar
John Fea | January 26, 2011
By embodying what it means to be a scholar, teacher, and person of faith, John D.......
A Christian historian reflects on the cultural phenomenon of Harold Camping and his May......
September 11th, Patriotism, and the Human Spirit
John Fea | September 06, 2011
The events of that tragic day were more about our common humanity than our patriotism....
Why Conservative Churches Are Growing
John Fea | August 23, 2011
Sometimes the spiritual successes of evangelicals can be explained by earthly means....
Benjamin Franklin, Christian Discipler
John Fea | November 09, 2011
Christians can learn how to love God with their minds from an unlikely source: Benjamin......
What Should Christians Think About Democracy?
John Fea | October 18, 2011
Democracy celebrates human dignity, but it is also has its limits....
The Boss's new album, Wrecking Ball, uses Christian faith to bridge the gap between......
Obama and Santorum: A Clarifying Contrast
John Fea | January 18, 2012
A Santorum-Obama showdown, though unlikely, would clarify the competing visions of......
"The Letter from a Birmingham Jail" calls America to recover the best in its......
Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | January 28, 2013
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Mark Noll on Eugene Genovese and Henry May
John Fea | January 02, 2013
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | December 17, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | October 21, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | November 12, 2012
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Be Ye Glad: Christian Music in the 1980s
John Fea | July 18, 2012
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Thomas Jefferson and His Bibles
John Fea | April 05, 2011
The Smithsonian is preparing Jefferson's Bible for public display in November. Here are......
Remember the Pile-Men
John Fea | September 13, 2011
We can learn a lot about vocation from the men and women who worked in the rubble of......
Seeing the Hand of God in Natural Disasters
John Fea | August 31, 2011
Recent comments from Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann are merely the latest in a long......
A Moment of Celebration Worth Remembering
John Fea | November 24, 2010
What should we remember about the "first" Thanksgiving?...
Local Culture at Its Best
John Fea | December 01, 2010
Reflecting over the holidays: How are we serving the needs of the places where we live?...
The Forgotten Virtue of Gratitude
John Fea | November 21, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | November 19, 2012
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Remembering Megan
John Fea | May 23, 2012
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Ancient Yearnings for the New Year
John Fea | January 05, 2011
A two-hundred-year-old New Year resolution shows that while some things have changed,......
All Historians Are Revisionists
John Fea | May 17, 2011
Many Christians have an aversion to "revisionist" history. Here's why that aversion is......
Education for a Democracy
John Fea | March 13, 2012
Liberal education is not for snobs. It is essential to the very survival of our......
History's Transformative Power
John Fea | November 17, 2010
The study of the past can be a deeply devotional practice....
Have a Counter-Cultural Christmas This Year
John Fea | December 19, 2012
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Is America New England Writ Large?
John Fea | September 12, 2012
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Engaging the Past, Engaging History
John Fea | August 29, 2012
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On the Road With Christian America
John Fea | May 16, 2012
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Historians and Providence
John Fea | February 23, 2011
Can a Christian claim to know God's purposes in history in the way that many Christian......
The fourth in a four-part series on the Civil War as a battle between two "Christian......
One Nation, Under God, Indivisible
John Fea | April 12, 2011
Read the first in a four-part series on the Civil War as a battle between two......
An Immigrant's Tale
John Fea | June 14, 2011
Reflections on interviewing a 100-year-old grandfather....
The Declaration of Independence was not written primarily to defend the "self-evident"......
Would You Vote for This Man?
John Fea | February 15, 2012
Barack Obama, a devout Christian, offered people of faith much promise in 2008. He has......
There never was a golden age of Christmas in America. Celebrating a Christ-centered......
Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | February 25, 2013
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Sin and the Historian
John Fea | October 03, 2012
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What Are You Reading This Summer?
John Fea | July 25, 2012
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Being a Historian
John Fea | August 01, 2012
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What Jefferson Believed
John Fea | May 09, 2012
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Was George Washington a Christian?
John Fea | February 16, 2011
Many have sought to claim the George Washington legacy for their own religious purposes.......
Should Christians Trust David Barton?
John Fea | May 10, 2011
Evangelicals should think twice before relying on David Barton for historical......
God's Judgment Upon the South
John Fea | April 19, 2011
The second in a four-part series on the Civil War as a battle between two "Christian......
How the study of history can help us navigate our cultural differences....
The Midnight Ride of Sarah Palin
John Fea | June 07, 2011
What can we learn from Sarah Palin's encounter with Paul Revere?...
Presidential Politics at Its Worst?
John Fea | January 11, 2012
The uncivil nature of the GOP primary season is nothing new in American history, but......
The GOP presidential candidate is confused about Kennedy's famous Houston speech....
The Romney campaign's purposeful use of a quote they know to be false is a detestable......
America Has Always Been a Christian Nation
John Fea | December 08, 2010
One very important group has always regarded the United States as a "Christian nation":......
Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | December 31, 2012
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | December 10, 2012
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An Evangelical Pastor Gets a History Lesson
John Fea | January 12, 2011
What happens when a Christian pastor, Dudley Rutherford, gives a history lesson that......
Sacrilegious though it seems, we should dare to ask the question: was the founding war......
The Confederacy's "Christian Nation"
John Fea | April 26, 2011
The third in a four-part series on the Civil War as a battle between two "Christian......
Study History, Save Your Marriage
John Fea | September 27, 2011
How leaning history promotes virtues of humility, compassion, grace, and other essential......
Is a Historian Worth $1.6 Million?
John Fea | November 23, 2011
The recent Newt Gingrich-Freddie Mac case raises questions about the value of historical......
Today's American evangelicals might be surprised to learn what their spiritual ancestors......
The United States: Christian or "Secular?"
John Fea | February 20, 2013
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Sunday Night Odds and Ends
John Fea | January 14, 2013
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Why College?
John Fea | December 26, 2012
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Ron Sider on Christian Political Engagement
John Fea | October 31, 2012
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The Historian and Imago Dei
John Fea | October 17, 2012
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We're #95! We're #95 We're #95!!
John Fea | September 26, 2012
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An Epic Night in Philadelphia
John Fea | September 05, 2012
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Praise the Lord and Pass the Caffeine
John Fea | May 30, 2012
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America, A Great and Flawed Nation
John Fea | August 02, 2011
America is great, but it is not the Kingdom of God....
If America is a "nation with the soul of the church," you would never know it by......
The Historian as Activist
John Fea | October 25, 2011
History is the antidote to the shouting matches we call the "culture wars," and the......
A Case for a Christian America
John Fea | March 16, 2011
Was America founded as a Christian nation? A look at the earliest state constitutions......
Taking Care of Our Own
John Fea | January 25, 2012
Bruce Springsteen's new single calls us to renew the promise of America by loving one......
Debates over America as a "Christian nation" are endless and unhelpful -- unless we......