That Was The Week That Was


• Because a blog just isn’t enough new media for one person, I announced that The Pietist Schoolman Podcast will debut next month. (I recorded two of the initial episodes on Friday — excited to share them!)

• Speaking of more media than any one person needs to produce… Our department’s webisode got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Minnesota History Center, one of the best institutions of its type in the country.

• In more traditional media news… Our friend Jared Burkholder announced that the history of Grace College he’s been working on with Mark Norris is now available for pre-order. I was happy to contribute a blurb — it’s an unusually complex institutional history, very much sensitive to the issues we talked about last fall at our CFH panel on that subject.

• Per a comment by historian/Wesleyan University president Michael Roth… Am I trying to make religious believers out of my students? No, and yes.

…There and Everywhere

Laptops in a Rwandan primary school classroom
The “One Laptop per Child” program in Rwanda – Creative Commons (cellanr)

• Looking back at my “Saved for Later” list on Feedly, I couldn’t believe how many Atlantic posts I’d flagged, asking questions like…Is there a human right to Internet access? (And how might lack of access be exacerbating educational gaps across and within countries?)

…Why are African American college students so much less likely than their peers to study abroad?

…Just why do I love The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt so much?

…And why was the late Sam Simon such an important influence on the maturing of The Simpsons?

• But that’s not all from one of my favorite sites… The aforementioned Michael Roth was back to calmly rebut Kevin Carey’s techno-bubbly pronouncement of “The End of College”? (Also decidedly unimpressed by Carey’s case: University of Arizona president Janet Napolitano, op-ed-ing in The Washington Post.)

• Of course, we’ve learned recently that some colleges are ending. The Atlantic asked what the closure of Sweet Briar means for its professors. (And Inside Higher Ed had Augustana of Illinois president Steven Bahls reflect on the decision to struggle on or close.)

• At other sites… Eboo Patel wondered why campus diversity advocates were so uncomfortable with religious diversity.

• How fasting from the Internet for Lent has taught Jen Pollock Michel that “To intentionally slow down, or to fast from fast, forces the transfer of loyalty from efficiency to the virtue of geological time….”

• Wesley Hill on church unity: “While we wait for God to heal the fractured body of Christ, some of my friends and I are looking for concrete ways to express our confidence that God will one day do just that.”

Mouw, Talking with Mormons• Meanwhile, Jana Riess lamented how tension persists between evangelicals and Mormons in spite of attempts at dialogue.

• Having argued here several times that right belief is not more — and perhaps less — important than right feeling and right action, let’s give equal time to Ed Stetzer, who argues for the centrality of doctrine in Christianity.

• John Wilson reviewing a Garry Wills book on Catholicism is predictably enlightening…

• Thomas Kidd explained why he encourage “students writing research papers to see if they can talk about intellectual trends in the eighteenth century without using the term ‘Enlightenment.'” (Okay, one more Atlantic link: Dominic Green on the “greatness” and “tragedy” of that eighteenth century movement that shall not be named.)

• One thing lost in teaching the history of the 19th century: how smelly a city like London was.

• Elizabeth Yale responded to the AP US History controversy with a question I asked on the first day of my Cold War history class this spring: especially when we talk about national history, “when do we say ‘we’ in history?”

• Scot McKnight rebuked those (Left and Right) who claim to define the right and wrong “side of history.”

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