That Was The Week That Was

This week I finished another chapter in my Lindbergh biography and recorded podcasts about the Olympics and the importance of philosophy in a time of pandemic. Elsewhere:

• I was doubly grateful to Elesha Coffman: not just for giving me a week off at The Anxious Bench, but articulating something about teaching online that I’d struggled to identify.

• We’re hoping to devote an episode of our Pandemics and the Liberal Arts podcast to the importance of art. In the meantime, let this reflection by Jody Hassett Sanchez whet your appetite.

Notre Dame as of late February 2020 – Creative Commons (SiefkinDR)

• It’s been more than a year since the terrible fire at Notre Dame, and French bishops, architects, scholars, and politicians are still debating how Paris’ historic cathedral should be rebuilt.

• This is an important story about the Trump administration’s response to COVID, but the headline is all wrong: “revisionist history” is about getting closer to the truth, not further from it.

• But maybe we’re learning that America is stronger than its current, weak president.

• Maybe it’s even possible that we’re seeing the limits of divisive politics. (Yes, that’s David Brooks.)

• Or maybe we’re seeing the decline of the nation-state.

• Religious congregations might start gathering for worship this month… but they probably won’t be singing.

• I’d almost forgotten how much we used to argue about the definition of evangelicalism

Bush Chapel at Southeastern University (FL) – Creative Commons (FireKnight1935)

• While he lamented how many fellow Pentecostals have behaved during the pandemic, Chris Green hoped that it would bring about a revival of Pentecostalism.

• Alas, he was one of 34 professors who lost their jobs at Southeastern University, just one more reminder that Christian higher ed is facing enormous challenges.

• And it’s not just Christian colleges: a well-endowed research university announced sweeping staff cuts that affected at least some non-tenured faculty.

• But while the lights remain on… I’m glad I’m not in charge of deciding what next fall/year will look like. (from last week, but still worth considering)