That Was The Week That Was

Apart from a Friday post on Alan Jacobs’ book, Breaking Bread with the Dead, I took it easy this week. Elsewhere:

• I’m happy to report that I got my second Moderna shot on Friday. Meanwhile, vaccine skepticism and hesitancy lives on in rural America, for a variety of reasons.

• One effect of COVID was that historians like me had to do more of our reading online, as archives closed and library services were interrupted. Maybe, suggests Daniel Immerwahr, that wasn’t such a bad thing

• Will we forget COVID as quickly as Americans forgot the influenza pandemic of 1918-1920?

Influenza patients at a U.S. Army hospital in France, 1918 – Wikimedia

• How Americans think about their nation’s history seems to be as polarized as anything else.

• As one of the country’s most prestigious historically black universities prepares to dissolve its Classics department, one instructor in that department explained why the classics have been liberating for African Americans.

• I’m still finding my way as an evangelical attending a Lutheran church. But that’s nothing compared to the journey taken by a former Mormon missionary who became a Lutheran seminarian.

• Are evangelicals becoming less skeptical about climate change?

• Scott Culpepper explained why Pat Robertson’s 1988 presidential campaign proved to be so important for evangelicalism and the Republican Party alike.

Licensed by Creative Commons (BlueMoses)

• Last week marked what would have been the 100th birthday of John Stott, remembered by one former assistant for modeling “a robust evangelicalism that engaged deeply with the great public issues of his time, while maintaining a radical Christ-centeredness and commitment to the authority of Scripture.”

• That article emphasized the impact on Stott of his friendship with Ecuadorian theologian René Padilla, who died this week at age 88.

• One of the last pieces Charles Lindbergh wrote before his death was the foreword to a memoir by Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, who died this week at age 90.

In the official crew photo for Apollo 11, command module pilot Collins stands between the two men who first walked on the Moon: Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

• So it’s not just the Roseville, MN post office that’s been running really slow with its delivery times

• And it’s not just this side of the Atlantic where non-elite universities are cutting their history programs.

• Why should students have to learn information when they can just look it up?

• This country’s higher ed enrollment was down even more in spring 2021 than in fall 2020.

• It may actually be better for colleges to prepare jacks-of-all-trades than masters-of-one.

• I already appreciated Jon Boyd for editing one of my books; his meditation on hope and baseball makes me like him even more.

• Finally, if you were as big a fan of the first decade of The Simpsons as I was, you’ll want to read this long interview with the show’s most prolific, most admired, and most reclusive writer.