As explained in this space, I’m temporarily focusing more of my online energies on podcasts, like this week’s 252 discussion of sports as religion. But at The Anxious Bench I did find the time to write a Christian case for journalism and to profile a now-forgotten religious figure who was reviled by everyone from Charles Lindbergh to Glenn Close.
Elsewhere in the blogosphere…
• Hero worship, anti-intellectualism, and other dangerous tendencies that Roger Olson found inherent to the evangelical ethos.
• Meanwhile, the reports about sexual abuse in the country’s largest evangelical denomination convinced Dale Coulter that “[w]e don’t need a database of sexual abusers for the Southern Baptist Convention, we need it for evangelicalism as a whole.”
• Count on John McWhorter not to run away from controversial topics, like the blackface scandals in Virginia: “I wonder if we are allowing social progress to detour into a kind of reflexive shaming. I wonder if all blacking up is alike, or if even blackface contains shades of grey.”
• Over the course of a year, ESPN journalists talked to legendary sportscaster Bob Costas dozens of times, trying to understand how “he reconciled the celebration of a sport that enriched him financially and helped make him a broadcasting icon, but also weighed so heavily on his conscience…”
• As a historian currently dabbling in both aviation and sports, I heartily approve of Atlanta Hawk forward John Collins Wright Brothers tribute in last night’s NBA dunk contest.
(Or should it be Wright Brother, singular?)
• The German government annually pays churches over half a billion dollars… even though the Weimar Constitution called for an end to that tradition a hundred years ago.
• Meet the Japanese-American WWII veteran who didn’t (couldn’t) begin to share his amazing story until he was 91.
• What happens when you commission 400 people to live and work in a replica of the Soviet Union for two years, filming the whole thing? You get “the Soviet Truman Show.”
• I don’t know if the academic life is actually being undone by email. But I hope people don’t use that as an excuse to neglect those correspondents.
• How one research university has experimented with one-credit “pop up” courses.
• Want to improve everything from writing to discipline among school children? Teach them art, theatre, and dance.