U.S. History

This tag is associated with 132 posts

Birmingham Revolution: Not Everyone’s a Prophet

Among the many people to whom I recommended Ed Gilbreath’s new book this summer were colleagues and students in Bethel University’s Christianity and Western Culture (CWC) course. While that course effectively ends its narrative around 1800 (I go as far as the British parliament abolishing the slave trade in 1807) and we barely touch on U.S. history, the … Continue reading

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church?

From this past June: my three-part attempt to explain my little-known, fast-growing denomination, and why it’s so distinctive. This past June I flew from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago, where I represented my congregation at Gather ’14, the annual meeting of our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. “What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church?” at least one person just asked. … Continue reading

Tracking the Popularity of WWI in Books and Dissertations

Coming into this centenary year for World War I, there’s been a predictable resurgence of books written about that conflict. Which got me wondering how the war has ebbed and flowed over time as a subject for historians and other writers. I came up with two highly imperfect ways to satisfy this curiosity: I was challenged earlier this summer … Continue reading

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • Is it a “farce” that Christian colleges are accredited by the federal government? Does faith make academic freedom impossible? Have at it, all sorts of terrific Christian scholars who don’t write for this blog! • Ed Gilbreath’s Birmingham Revolution got me thinking about the time that Martin Luther King, Jr. came closest to speaking at what’s now Bethel … Continue reading

What’s the Evangelical Covenant Church? “An Immigrant Church”

In my day job as a history professor, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past week investigating the experience of immigrants during World War I. And since most of the faculty and students at Bethel in 1917-18 were either born in Sweden themselves or the children or grandchildren of such immigrants, I’ve also been thinking about my own … Continue reading

Happy Fathers’ Day

For many, it seemed like a bit of trickery, a joke, a send-up for Will Rogers or Groucho Marx. So says religious studies scholar Leigh Eric Schmidt of Father’s Day, adding that while such an event “seemed all but inevitable” when Mother’s Day quickly became a sensation, “many people found it laughable.” A 1914 letter to the New York … Continue reading

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • Post #1000 seemed like the right time to announce that I’ll be slowing down my blogging pace: from daily to thrice-weekly (plus these links posts). • While I’m editing a book on The Pietist Vision for Higher Education, I haven’t really sought to articulate a Pietist model for Christian scholarship. I’ll take a shot … Continue reading

D-Day at 70

Seventy years ago today, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy — opening the long-promised “second front” in the European experience of World War II and ultimately sealing the fate of the Third Reich. There’s plenty of coverage of the anniversary — let me just suggest a few links: • The Washington Post has a striking photo … Continue reading

The Week Is Dead, Long Live the Week!

Over at Slate writer Ben Schreckinger argues that the seven-day week has outlived its usefulness: The pattern of living on a seven-day cycle—with one or two of those days set aside for rest—is a relative novelty. Only in the past few centuries, with Western colonization of most of the world, have the majority of human societies adopted it. … Continue reading

Revising Memorial Day

Where did Memorial Day start? What does it mean? If pressed, most of us could probably guess that it emerged from the wake of the Civil War and perhaps explain that it differs from, say, Veterans Day or Armed Forces Day in specifically remembering those who have died in military service to this country. Writing in the midst of the Vietnam War, … Continue reading


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