That Was The Week That Was


• Were these the best history books of 2014?

• Which Bible passages most shaped your understanding of God?

• Want to help publicize our book on Pietism and Christian higher ed? (Thanks to John Fea, among others, for already helping the cause!)

…There and Everywhere

Logo for the wildly popular podcast, Serial
And no, I haven’t started listening to Serial yet…

• As someone who was creating podcasts back in the first decade of this century, it’s hard to know what to make of their newfound popularity. (But I’ll say this: we’re closer to the possibility of a Pietist Schoolman Podcast that at any time since this blog started. Stay tuned in 2015…)

• I’ve spent the past six months as part of a joint trustee-administration-faculty strategic planning process at Bethel. I’ve learned a lot about the inner workings of the 21st century university, but part of me wishes I had just taken part in a workshop like this. (requires subscription)

• Should more national universities drop their football programs?

• As the federal government gets closer to joining the college ranking racket, here’s a good reminder that, for many students, there’s a limit to how much comparison shopping they can do. (I’m especially interested in the notion of “education deserts.”)

• By suspending a professor who publicly criticized a teaching assistant (in another department) over her handling of a discussion of same-sex marriage, did Marquette University impinge on academic freedom or appropriately punish a senior scholar who was out of line in his treatment of a graduate student? I think Matthew Franck is probably closest to right: “There are no heroes in this story, only knaves and fools.”

• “The outrage economy,” concluded an in-depth report at Slate, “is terrific at shaming people, at forcing them to apologize, at getting them fired. But people still do terrible things; brands still tweet; inequality persists. Outrage is not revolution; it’s not even justice, really.”

• One interesting aftershock of #Ferguson: at evangelical colleges, “demonstrations and protests have sprung up that would seem to defy conventional wisdom about the religious right.”

Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul II
The Dalai Lama with Pope John Paul II – Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values

• Evangelicals also played a surprising role in this article about Pres. Obama’s decision to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. (And did that decision mark the end of the Cold War?)

• Another interesting case in the role of religion in international relations: Pope Francis’ snubbing of the Dalai Lama.

• I’m planning to visit Chartres for the first time in about fifteen years during a day off from our WWI trip in January. Apparently, there’s a fair amount of contention around a restoration of the famous cathedral.

• George Whitefield turned 300 this week. And if that sentence meant nothing to you, learn more about one of history’s most significant evangelicals from his newest biographer.

• Did millions of Civil War soldiers suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome?

• Is the “War on Christmas” over? And why is the entire notion rather ahistorical?

• Yes and amen to Ellen Painter Dollar’s post suggesting that we lighten up on certain Christmas traditions that tend to get a bad rap.

• In the video of the week contest, it’s hard to beat this Saturday Night Live commercial…

…but this C-SPAN clip manages to upstage it. Watch as two bickering brothers on opposite ends of the political spectrum get a surprising call from a woman in North Carolina:

2 thoughts on “That Was The Week That Was

  1. Re/ football. A number of div 3 non scholarship schools such as bethel have added football the past few years. Good for them. Both mit and John’s hopkins made the div 3 playoffs this year.

    1. Yes, past my basic concerns with the short- and long-term physical effects of playing football, I don’t have issues with D3. Like the writers of the article linked, I’m more concerned about the effects on larger universities of trying to maintain what FBS/FCS programs.

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