• Spring semester is barely started and I’m already thinking about a new course for the fall.
• Just how economically diverse are the student populations at Christian and church-related colleges?
• While David Swartz is on hiatus, I’ve been extending his Anxious Bench series on “Unexpected Sites of Christian Pacifism.”
…There and Everywhere
• On the occasion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s birthday, an international society of Bonhoeffer scholars responded to the Trump presidency: “The best way to understand Bonhoeffer’s possible message for our times is not to draw direct political analogies between his time and ours, but to understand the meaning of how he understood his faith and his responsibilities as a citizen in his own times and discern where these words might resonate for us today.”
• What is the source of American patriotism? Philosopher Gary Gutting suggests that it’s not the shared ideal of freedom, but “that [the] endless, rancorous struggle for the soul of America is precisely what we should love about this country.”
• Philip Jenkins has a new series on the role of immigration in spreading Christianity.
• For my Intro to History course, I always like to point to students to examples of advertising as a means of interpreting the past. This year’s case study showcases the origins of a brewery.
• American suspicion of religious non-believers is nothing new.
• Neither is dislike of the New England Patriots among those of who roots for teams that have yet to win a Super Bowl… but even I had to admit that Super Bowl LI was remarkable.
• This was a new one for me: the fear of eternity.
• While much of the news surrounding theological education has been gloomy in recent years, a new book by Justo González points out one bright spot: the growing population of students and faculty of color at seminaries.
• A couple years ago Eastern Mennonite University withdrew from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities after EMU’s decision to start hiring LGBT employees sparked protests from conservative institutions. In this Mennonite World Review post, a gay EMU employee suggests how “a non-affirming Christian [can] start to share good news with LGBTQ people.”
• Betsy DeVos was narrowly confirmed as Secretary of Education. What that’ll mean for higher ed remains unclear.
• In offering “inquiry seminars” like the one I’m developing, my institution exemplifies one of Steve Mintz’s four “strategies for saving the liberal arts.”
• Why you shouldn’t call a professor a teacher.
• For five years, its owners literally couldn’t give away Dwight Moody’s former school in Massachusetts. But the 200-acre campus was finally donated to a small Catholic college and the Moody Center.
• It’s hard to think of another Saturday Night Live sketch that has made as much of an impact as Melissa McCarthy’s surprising, devastating impersonation of (outgoing?) White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
• Fighting words about my favorite British TV series.