That Was The Week That Was


• I love questions that assume the possibility of time travel existing… Which baseball game do you wish you could go back in time to watch?

• One of the games I suggested featured a shellshocked World War I veteran… In related sports/WWI news, I continued my series on Minnesotan commemoration of that war by recounting the history of the state’s largest memorial: the football stadium at the University of Minnesota (from 1924-1982).

• Once again this week I had occasion to struggle to come up with synonyms for Pietism/pietistic, so thanks to those who replied to my post on that subject!

• Labor history! An installment of “This Week in History” featured noted labor activists Walter Reuther, Frederick Douglass, and Cal Ripken. Plus a look inside the minds of WWII-era male managers of female workers.

There and Everywhere

Grace College logo• Moravian piety in the classroom? Conventicles in the dorm? Yes, “Pietism is alive and well at Grace College.”

• Perhaps the most-discussed story this week among my colleagues: a New York Times report on the growing number of Muslim students enrolling at Catholic universities.

• Two excellent posts on how Christians should engage in politics: six suggestions from Justin Fung, a pastor in Washington, DC; and seven reminders from Bryan Roberts in Relevant magazine. (I especially appreciated the latter piece because it lets me add: H/T my Mom! No, she is not exactly the target demographic for Relevant magazine, but that just makes it all the more awesome that she recently shared that link on her Facebook page. Way to go, Mom!)

• A different side of conservative Catholic scholar Robert George: this interview with America magazine focused on questions of vocation, suffering, family, and spirituality and steers clear of the political issues he’s best known for addressing. (H/T Katherine Infantine)

• Then from another Catholic writer usually found on the other side of the spectrum: Michael Sean Winters criticized Democratic leaders for “stoking” the same culture wars that Barack Obama talked about ending as a candidate and new president.

• Winters referred in large part to the Democratic Party’s rejection of the abortion opponents among its rank and file. Here’s historian John Fea’s take on that shift: “It seems to me that this historical change puts the Democratic Party in a very awkward moral position today—one that it seems unwilling to address. According to a recent Gallup Poll, about one-third of Democrats identify themselves as pro-life.  The leadership of a party that has historically been committed to protecting the weakest and most vulnerable members of society have agreed to turn their collective backs on unborn children, refused to promote diversity and dialogue on life issues, and failed to represent a significant portion of its constituency.”

Team Coco poster
Licensed by Creative Commons (Mike Mitchell)

• Has anyone seen Michelle Obama and Albus Dumbledore in the same place at the same time? Hmmm…

• “O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us / To see oursels as ithers see us!” Not sure that Robert Burns could have known about motion pictures, but I’m sure he’d appreciate the intention of this Atlantic piece on how movies made outside this country portray America.

• A couple weeks ago I wrote in defense of popular history… This week History Today featured Tim Stanley’s explanation for why more and more young British scholars forsake the academy for trade publishing — and it’s not the shrinking advances: “The fact that young historians still choose to walk away from [academia] is a damning indictment of how unappealing the career has become. The biggest problem is that the vast majority of students go into academia to write rather than teach…”

• This morning at our department blog, “Weekend Reading” suggests you spend some time this weekend reading about Emily Dickinson, the Dust Bowl, the most vicious election in American history, and a century-old message in a bottle. And that you watch former History major Conan O’Brien conduct a lengthy, mostly serious interview with a leading presidential biographer…

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