May 5, 2021

Padilla earned his reputation as an enfant terrible who showed no fear in challenging white evangelical kingmakers at Fuller Theological Seminary, Christianity Today, and the Evangelical Theological Society. Read more

May 4, 2021

Chris introduces us to a Lutheran pastor less famous than Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Niemöller, yet almost as admired during World War II for his principled resistance to Nazi totalitarianism. Read more

May 3, 2021

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and in a year when racism and violence against Asian Americans have captured public attention, more people are talking about the need to include Asian American perspectives in their school curriculum, course syllabi, and diversity, equity, and inclusion programming. I wholeheartedly support these efforts, and I’m genuinely excited that educators and researchers are paying more attention to Asian Americans in the fields of American history and American religion. However, I must confess my… Read more

April 30, 2021

Today we have a guest post concerning a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Christopher Tounsel teaches at Penn State University, where he is Assistant Professor of History and African Studies. His new book is Chosen Peoples: Christianity and Political Imagination in South Sudan (Duke University Press, 2021). I will quote the jacket description, but (for me at least) the key point is how religion is an indispensable element of political ideologies in that area of contemporary… Read more

April 28, 2021

It may seem strange to think about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving in the springtime, but surely one can be forgiven for obsessing over one’s favorite subjects. I’ve been thinking about the Pilgrim, Puritan, and early American pattern of giving thanks, in part because I’m feeling thankful. COVID-19 case numbers are falling, and schools and universities are planning on a much more normal fall 2021. Signs of hope abound. My favorite ice cream place has opened. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will… Read more

April 28, 2021

I have a cookie every night before bed. I’m not sure whether this is physically healthy, but it’s definitely good for my soul. This is in large part because the cookie accompanies a book. As I wind down from the day, it is my practice to stop reading for work and read something for spiritual nourishment instead. I am particularly excited about my 4-book reading list for this season. All have been published in the last year. Two authors are… Read more

April 27, 2021

Guest blogger Anika Prather explains the liberating effects of the classics on Black leaders like Frederick Douglass and Anna Julia Cooper. Read more

April 26, 2021

For a new book projective tentatively entitled “Unholy Wars: Secularist Violence in Modern History,” I spent a delightful week working in the Keston Archives at the Keston Center at Baylor University. The archives holdings include bountiful material from religious communities persecuted under communist regimes in the twentieth century. The brainchild of the Anglican priest Michael Bourdeaux, the archives’ holdings go back to the 1950s and in some cases even earlier. The Center’s mission is “to promote research and encourage the… Read more

April 23, 2021

I have a long standing interest in archaeology, dating back to the late 1960s. I am happy to report that I have now lived long enough to live through a revolution in thinking of which I disapproved thoroughly, and to have come out the other side, being proved right. Smugness apart, the matters at hand have implications for a great many fields of historical research, certainly including the ancient Near East. Let me spell out some terms and issues in… Read more

April 22, 2021

It’s Beth Allison Barr week at The Anxious Bench, and for good reason. The Making of Biblical Womanhood went out into the world this week. Or, more like it, took on the world this week. “Go, be free!” That’s how Beth ends her impassioned, historically informed demolition of complementarianism and the modern evangelical ideal of “biblical womanhood.” There are so many things that I love about this book, so I’m going to gush about it for a while. First, it… Read more

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