January 16, 2019

An evangelical seminary tries to reckon with its history of white supremacy Read more

January 15, 2019

An Anxious Bench book club: 12 books by – and mostly about – women that Patheos Evangelical readers should read this year. Read more

January 14, 2019

Today’s post is an initial draft of a review of two books out recently on Pope Pius IX (r.1846-78), the longest reigning pope in the history of the papacy and easily among the most controversial. Herewith: Pope Against Modernity David I. Kertzer, The Pope Who Would be King: The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe (Random House, 2018), 474pp. John O’Malley, SJ, Vatican I: The Council and the Making of the Ultramontane Church (Belknap Press of… Read more

January 11, 2019

This past Christmas season was darkened by the loss of a great friend who was also an excellent Biblical scholar, Gary Knoppers. He was only 62 at the time of his death. I had known Gary for thirty years, mainly through his time at Penn State, where he variously belonged to Religious Studies and CAMS (Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies), and he headed that latter unit. We also belonged to the same Episcopal church, of which he was an ever-dependable… Read more

January 10, 2019

The families, homes, and clutter habits featured on the Netflix reality show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo are as diverse as America, but Japanese home organizing consultant Marie Kondo always begins her tidying projects in the same way: with a ritual in which she greets and thanks the house. This ritual is one of the most dramatic and poignant moments in the episode, and it follows a consistent script throughout the show. After Kondo explains her intent and offers instructions… Read more

January 9, 2019

“White Jesus has blood on him.” Angela Tarango, Associate Professor of Religion at Trinity University, said this during the Conference on Faith and History’s 2019 panel for the American Historical Association meeting in Chicago last weekend. The panel (which I was so excited to have organized) featured Jennifer Graber’s excellent and provocative book The Gods of Indian Country: Religion and the Struggle for the American West. Dr. Tarango’s statement startled me. On the one hand, she is spot on. Christians,… Read more

January 8, 2019

Thanks to Jared Burkholder for writing this morning’s guest post on the history of evangelical purity culture. A history professor at Grace College and Seminary, Jared blogs at The Hermeneutic Circle and can be followed on Twitter @jsburkholder. Those of us who experienced the evangelical youth group subculture of the 1980s and 90s are now in mid-life, and some of my fellow mid-lifers are reflecting back on the “purity movement” that began in those years. The conversation has been led largely by… Read more

January 7, 2019

Recently, a couple of semi-humorous stories made me think about a far graver set of issues, and one that might be one of the major ethical and religion-related issues of the coming years. When does a political cause become such a matter of life and death that it demands illegal actions? The main news story concerned the truly bizarre affair at England’s Gatwick airport, where reported drone activity shut down this hugely busy transit point just before Christmas. Many flights… Read more

January 4, 2019

Alfonso Cuarón’s film Roma has been universally praised as a major work of cinema, a triumph of cinematography no less than acting, and it will assuredly win Academy Awards. But the film raises some worrying points about how we read and report history, not to mention some intriguing religious issues. If you have not seen the brilliant Roma, you must. It tells the story of an upper middle class family in Mexico City in the 1970s, focusing on their housemaid,… Read more

January 3, 2019

Mitt Romney has done more than just about anyone else (save my Doktorvater) for my career. By coming close to the Republican nomination in 2008 and then being the presumptive nominee for the next four years, Romney made Mormon Studies great. The creators of The Book of Mormon: The Musical also deserve ample credit, but the man from Michigan Massachusetts Utah enhanced popular interest in his religion just in time for my first book on the subject. Some people wondered… Read more

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