That Was The Week That Was

Here’s what happened here and at other blogs and sites in the past week.


  • Can historians engage in both empathy and judgment (all without “hindsight bias”)? The case of Neville Chamberlain, as presented by anti-appeaser/historian Winston Churchill.
  • The greatest hero in Swedish military history… Still not quite sure why that should cause me any pride.
  • What could have been a truly thoughtful piece on discerning one’s vocation became an excuse to tell embarrassing childhood stories about my own nerdy self.
  • The historical case for country music, from the 1930s to the 1990s.
  • I dampened my own enthusiasm about the prospect of getting better classroom space and new buildings by pondering simplicity as a Christian virtue or discipline.
  • And sometime late Thursday or early Friday a visitor to this blog clicked on one of its posts or pages, the 10,000th time that’s happened in the not that long or storied history of The Pietist Schoolman. Thanks for reading and commenting!


  • Mark Galli
    Mark Galli

    Mark Galli offered a defense of an evangelicalism that trusts in the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than the authority of a magisterium to guide us to truth and unity. See also my colleague Chris Armstrong’s take on that essay: largely affirming Galli’s argument, but also correcting a careless generalization about medieval Christianity.

  • Galli’s remarks started with the phenomenon of evangelical scholars like Christian Smith and Francis Beckwith converting to Catholicism. Joe Carter considers the lesser known but increasingly common trend of Catholics becoming Southern Baptists.
  • “War cannot be explained as it is a condition of human sinfulness; it can only be endured.” So noted James Kushiner in drawing attention to a couple of new books on World War I. (Can’t wait for 2014 to see the flood of scholarship unleashed for the centennial!)
  • This post by Don Miller concluded by saying of God, “He’s like France in that way.” That alone made me want to read it.

And a couple of deeply cool things that have been around a while but came to my attention at the end of the week:

  • My student Emma Beyers is blogging about the history of food in the Middle Ages as part of a project in our Medieval History course. The whole blog is fabulous, but having had more than a few recipes go wrong in my day, I was especially sympathetic to her post about Almond Milk Flan. I can’t wait until Emma publishes her medieval take on Julie and Julia, Amy Adams plays her in the film adaptation, and I can tell people that “I knew her when…”

    Medieval kitchen
    A medieval kitchen — from Emma's terrific new blog
  • What do you do with a History major? You start a Twitter account dedicated to Tweeting through the entire history of the Second World War, day by day for six years. At least, that’s what you do if you’re Oxford graduate Alwyn Collinson. He’s currently in November 1939, so I was all ready to say something snarky about Tweeting your way through the “Sitzkrieg,” but then I learned that on this day [I’m writing on Friday] in 1939 the Dutch passenger ship S.S. Simon Bolivar ran into a mine in the English Channel and sank, causing over 100 casualties. So check it out — you’ll learn more than you ever thought you could know about WWII! (H/T Diana Magnuson!)

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