That Was The Week That Was


• For the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I recalled one Christian college’s willingness to welcome Japanese American students.

• My series on Gary Burge’s Mapping Your Academic Career continued with some reflections on finding your voice as a teacher.

• Gift ideas: histories and biographies that made Best of 2016 lists.

• How did evangelical college students vote in the presidential election? A preliminary attempt at an answer.

…There and Everywhere

• That voting analysis was prompted by a conversation between Adam Laats and John Fea about the role of evangelical higher ed in paving the way for evangelical support for Donald Trump. If you’re interested in that discussion, it continued with Adam’s response to John.

As Fred Clark — who had his own insightful posts on the topic — pointed out, John and Adam offered “a terrific model of how to have such a conversation here in the realm of ‘social media’ where the mutual respect and candor they’re showing isn’t always the rule.”

Fallows, More Like Us
I wonder if PEOTUS read this 1989 book by Fallows…

• If you’re like me, you’ve probably read about as many reflections on November 8th as you can stand. But make room for one by James Fallows: an appropriately nuanced reflection on a remarkably complex and contingent result.

• What’s it like to be an undocumented immigrant? One evangelical shared her story.

• “Why have philosophical summer schools become a vibrant subculture on the right,” asked Molly Worthen, “but only a feeble presence on the left?”

• Because, answered Damon Linker, “The past, for a progressive, is something to be sloughed off, jettisoned, moved beyond, transcended. That doesn’t mean progressive-minded scholars don’t study the past. Many do. But when they do, it is often in a spirit of antiquarian curiosity about how the oppressor classes and benighted masses of past ages managed to defend the indefensible — the atavistic prejudices about race, gender, and other forms of identity that permeated the past and that ‘we’ have now come to see as obviously, indisputably repulsive.”

• If you’re worried about the spread of fake news, there’s a simple solution (albeit one that certainly benefits people like me).

• While a religious studies scholar thinks that the “post-truth” culture points to a different conclusion: “It’s time to acknowledge that political identity and behavior operate more like religion than many of us care to admit…. this is not about giving up on facts, truth or logic. When people lie outright, or are simply wrong on matters of fact, we must say so. But facts are understood in a context shaped by everyone’s fundamental sense of who they are and which side they are on.”

• At The Anxious Bench, I continued my series on biography-writing (asking why so many examples of that genre feature powerful white men) and revisited a WWI centenary post on the Christmas Truce of 1914.

USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor – Creative Commons (Victor-ny)

• Pearl Harbor Day also brings the annual return of rumors that Franklin Roosevelt knew that the Japanese attack was coming. Um, no.

• Undergraduate students at a college in Maryland are trying to preserve the stories of WWII vets before they die off.

• A WWII-era tank at a veterans memorial in Indiana was vandalized with a KKK marking. While here in Minnesota, a town privatized a public memorial in order to keep its cross.

• The prime minister of England is a rather devout Anglican. That’s more than surprising and perhaps more important than you might think.

• Glad to see a flicker of life at Jamie Smith’s Fors Clavigera blog, all the more so because he wrote about Advent hymnody.

• Books & Culture may be gone, but its estimable editor will continue his work in a new venue.


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