April 8, 2019

1965 represents a major turning point in American religious history. The Immigration and Nationality Act of this year marked a radical shift from the immigration policies of the past. Previous laws curtailed immigration from Asia and Africa, and gave preference to northern and western Europeans. Not surprisingly, the new immigrants brought with them their faiths: Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. And today there are more Muslims in the United States than there are Episcopalians, Jews, or Presbyterians. Los Angles is… Read more

April 5, 2019

A passage in the Alexandrian writer Philo casts a curious light on Christian origins, and I wish I understood it better. Let me put it out there for discussion. It’s particularly appropriate as we approach Holy Week. Philo reports on the violent and confrontational politics of the Egypt of his day, particularly the 30s AD. Alexandria was sharply divided between Jewish and anti-Jewish factions, and riooting was always a risk. When King Herod Agrippa visited Alexandria in 38, the Jews… Read more

April 4, 2019

Last month marked the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the four-month, student-led strike at San Francisco State University. This strike–along with a similar protest at the University of California, Berkeley, that began in early 1969—captured national attention as student activists from the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front occupied buildings and organized sit-ins and other demonstrations. Hundreds of students were arrested, and clashes with police were violent. African American, Native American, Asian American, and Latina/o activists… Read more

April 3, 2019

Cancer is terrible. It steals life. We have so many more treatment options available now and so much progress has been made (my father who has been a family physician since 1972 keeps reminding me that medicine miracles are just right around the corner), yet cancer treatments still wear down the body and exhaust the mind. I think maybe because cancer is so terrible and still seems so elusive, we—the family and friend bystanders–don’t handle it well. We always want… Read more

April 2, 2019

Founder of an intentional, interracial Christian community called Koinonia Farm, Clarence Jordan both challenged Southern Baptist churches and reflected Southern Baptist ideals. Read more

April 1, 2019

Just suppose you had to choose the single motion picture that dealt most seriously and challengingly with theological matters: what might it be? Offhand I can think of a dozen or so possible answers from various countries, and probably most cinema-literate people would agree on at least a common short-list. But few such lists would include one example of an American film that really should demand our attention and, I would argue, our profound respect, and that is the 1936… Read more

March 29, 2019

The idea for this post came from my genuine surprise at reading a passage by Winston Churchill. It made me reflect on some aspects of what we might describe as the “forgotten history” of Islam and its relations with the West, a point I raised in a recent post. In 1899, Churchill expressed grave concern about the “militant and proselytizing faith” of Islam. To put this in context, he actually wrote, Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence… Read more

March 28, 2019

  Many journalists and scholars snickered a bit last year when President Russell M. Nelson announced that God no longer wanted the members of his church to call themselves Mormons. Instead, they were to use the really long full name: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were to call themselves “members of The Church of Jesus Christ” or at least “Latter-day Saints.” The snickering was in part because the church recently spent quite a bit of money… Read more

March 27, 2019

The second in a two-part series on Christabel Pankhurst, a fundamentalist feminist Read more

March 26, 2019

Why should scholars take the time to blog or podcast, knowing that they’re likely to reach only small audiences? Can such public engagement actually enhance teaching and scholarship? Read more

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