That Was The Week That Was


• It’s not just for evangelists and vice-presidents. Does the so-called “Billy Graham Rule” contribute to gender disparities in the leadership of Christian colleges and universities?

• I thought that Molly Worthen was right that evangelicalism is often the source of its own problems… but perhaps it can also help generate its own solutions.

• The American centennial of World War I continued in New Ulm, Minnesota, where I gave a talk on commemoration of the war from the Old World to the New.

• And for my annual Holy Saturday post, I imagined how Pontius Pilate greeted the morning before Resurrection.

…There and Everywhere

Chance the Rapper performing in 2013
Chance the Rapper in 2013 – Creative Commons/Wikimedia

• Too much analysis of the decline of religion and public theology in this country has neglected the black church, where millennials like Chance the Rapper continue to “speak to God in public.”

• In response to conservative Christian writers like Rod Dreher, David Congdon argued that “Talking about the church in exile is redundant, unless there is a change in the definition.”

• Why it’s “doubtful… that a revitalized ‘religious left’ will actually materialize.”

• I had to offer a re-run this week at The Anxious Bench, but my colleagues more than pulled their weight. I was especially interested in Philip Jenkins’ fusion of DNA research, genealogy, and medieval history and Kristin Du Mez’s reflection on the peculiar language used to describe the “mother of all bombs.”

• Elsewhere, I was fascinated to learn about the late medieval Augustinian monk and author John Capgrave who, “in keeping with the spirit of his order… viewed service to the community as inseparable from scholarship.”

• As I look ahead to teaching my Modern Europe course this fall, I’m planning to do more than usual with the history of European fascism. So I was intrigued to read an excerpt of Martin Pugh’s new book on the British Union of Fascists, which held surprising appeal for women who had once been suffragists.

Oswald Mosley and British Blackshirts
BUF leader Oswald Mosley being saluted by his Blackshirts – Wikimedia

• French voters go to the polls tomorrow to start picking the next president of a country in the midst of a profound identity crisis.

• I’m in the middle of grading stacks of essays, which means that I’m rethinking the wisdom of requiring students to engage in that kind of writing so often. But Caitlin McGill observed close connections between essaying and teaching.

• The problems — and inescapable influence — of higher ed “return on investment” rating systems like

• What can you do with a History major? John Fea passed along twenty-three more options.