That Was the Week That Was

Here at The Pietist Schoolman

  • My 100th post: a “This Week in History” segment featuring two devastating fires, Lincoln’s killer’s killer, and the rises and falls of the Dutch and British empires.
  • A two-part post jumping off from the recent discussion of “Dominion theology” and its influence on Republican presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry. Part 1 looked at the challenge of non-evangelicals making sense of evangelical subculture, using former Bethel president Carl Lundquist as a prime example; part two considered New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza’s use of Genesis 1:26, which (in my experience at least) is used by evangelicals to support a different kind of “dominion” than the one supposedly embraced by Bachmann and Perry, and to buttress a growing enthusiasm for human rights.
  • Another post on misunderstanding: responding to the ahistorical use of “pietism” (as opposed to the “Pietism” I study and experience).
  • Reflecting on the enduring appeal of the countryside for city mice like myself.
  • My return to academic podcasting, as the 11th season of the podcast that accompanies our Christianity and Western Culture course premiered recently. Our newest episode includes a discussion of Christian responses to the theatre.

At other blogs, newspapers, and such

  • Lots of other people kept talking about Dominionism. Among others, Bill Keller and Ross Douthat exchanged opinion pieces in the New York Times, Jacques Berlinerblau accused Keller of being stuck in the “Secularithic Age,” a time when mainstream media like the Times demonstrated a “marked condescension toward faith and its practitioners,” and Francis Beckwith detected “secular gnosticism” in Keller’s piece. Perhaps the best discussion of the topic was in Religion Dispatches, which offered a conversation between journalist Sarah Posner and religion professor Anthea Butler that succeeded in taking readers “Beyond Alarmism and Denial.”
  • Efrem SmithUnfortunately, the dedication of the new Martin Luther King memorial in Washington, DC got somewhat lost amidst the “weather porn” surrounding Hurricane Irene, but Efrem Smith suggested ten ways that each of us can honor King in our own lives. At Bethel we heard a truly inspiring chapel talk from my colleague Robin Hasslen that quoted a King sermon on Romans 12, and his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” kicked off a new year of Christianity and Western Culture.
  • An intriguing array of responses in the Washington Post’s “On Faith” section to the launching of a secular university with a faculty of atheists.
  • National Catholic Reporter reported that the leading English-language journal of Catholic theology, Theological Studies, was pressured by the Vatican to publish an article defending the indissolubility of marriage without its going through the normal channels of peer review. (H/T to my colleague Dan Yim for passing that link along)
  • Like everyone who teaches 20th century European history, I almost always show my students clips from Triumph of the Will, Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous (in part because it’s so well-made) propaganda film about the Nazi Party rallies in Nuremberg. The new issue of Wired has a brief article in which two famous directors (but only two) are willing to discuss Riefenstahl’s influence on their own films. Be sure to guess who before you click the link!
  • This magazine that I never read published a fascinating article on the evolution of the game show Jeopardy!, in which expectations for knowledge and the way it’s quizzed have evolved in surprising ways. The question after this image of a Jeopardy! “clue crew” member on set…
    Licensed by Creative Commons (Joseph Hunkins)

    What is GQ?

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