That Was The Week That Was


• A three-part exploration of the 1940 census records for my grandparents — Peterson, Nelson, and Gehrz (haven’t found Laubscher yet) — shed some light on ethnicity, social mobility, and education in American society coming out of the Great Depression.

• As speculation about Mitt Romney’s running mate begins in earnest, a look back at similar predictions in 2008.

• Announcing a promising new book on intersections between Anabaptists and Evangelicals.

• Glen Scorgie (Bethel Seminary, San Diego) on the continuing relevance of Pietism to the Baptist General Conference/Converge Worldwide and other churches.

• That will be one of the topics discussed at our colloquium on Pietism studies: register now – it’s just six days away!


French Flag• I haven’t written much about nationalism since the fall, but journalist Karl Meyer’s op-ed on how the French continue to struggle with the question of “who gets to be French?” fits right in with some of the things we discuss often in my Modern Europe course.

• We didn’t have a links post on Easter Saturday, so this is older than a week… But Andrew Preston’s Foreign Affairs piece on religion in American foreign policy is well worth reading for its evaluation of the Obama Administration (another critique of its relative silence on international religious liberty) and his warning to use religious rhetoric cautiously.

• I was fairly skeptical of the new Invisible Children campaign, but while it seems to have evaporated as quickly as it exploded onto the scene, the Washington Post reminded us that the effects of Joseph Kony’s crimes continue to affect not just Uganda, but countries like the Central African Republic.

• At our department blog, I wrote a couple of posts in response to my advisee who this past week fretted that studying history alone would not make him “employable.” Part 1: why studying history and similar disciplines prepares one for a turbulent economy that privileges those able to continue learning. Part 2: why business is a more natural landing place for our majors than we might think.

Cells at Alcatraz Prison
Licensed by Creative Commons (miss_millions)

• Mark Silk managed to make a not unreasonable connection between the Trayvon Martin case and the ever-relevant Augustine of Hippo.

• One of the talks at the recent Q Conference that caught my attention was on the crisis in the criminal justice system, by Bryan Stevenson. (For more background on the problem and why it demands a response from Christians, see the resolution that our denomination passed in 2010, at its 125th annual meeting.)

• Cathy Lynn Grossman on “reverts“: the 9% of American adults who have “returned to the pews, practices and prayers that shaped them” after considerable time away.

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