Forgive the quiet start to a new blogging year. I’ve been busy launching the J-term version of our Christianity and Western Culture class: over two millennia covered in three weeks!
Which is a bit more ambitious than my upcoming speaking schedule, but I’m still happy to have three opportunities over the next five weeks to talk about Charles Lindbergh’s spiritual biography. Two will be virtual, one in person. Details below for any who want to join us; all times Central Standard.
Monday, January 10, 2022, 7pm (Zoom)
Kairos Class at Incarnation Lutheran Church
First up is a return visit to a Lutheran church in Shoreview, Minnesota where I’ve previously taught classes on Pietism and evangelicalism. With the ongoing pandemic, Incarnation has moved its main adult education class to Monday nights on Zoom. Just click this link to join us. (If you can’t make it, the talk will also be recorded and made available on Incarnation’s website.)
EVENT DESCRIPTION: A growing share of Americans identify with no particular religious tradition, but still hold spiritual beliefs and engage in spiritual practices. To help Christians understand their “spiritual but not religious” neighbors, historian Chris Gehrz will tell a less-familiar version of the story of Minnesotan aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, who distrusted organized religion but spent much of his adult life thinking and writing about divinity, mortality, and ethics. While it led him to appreciate the wisdom of Jesus and other religious figures, Lindbergh’s spiritual quest also deepened his interest in eugenics and his belief in white supremacy.
(And if you’re in the Twin Cities and would enjoy an in-person version of a Lindbergh talk in a Lutheran setting, I’ll be doing a two-part class on Charles and Anne for my own congregation in March. I’ll say more about that next month.)
Friday, January 21, 2022, 5:30pm (Zoom)
History Happy Hour at Seminary Ridge Museum and Education Center
I’m most intrigued by this event. While you’d be right to think that a museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania would focus on the American Civil War, I’ve been invited to give an informal talk on Lindbergh as a way of illustrating the significance of religion to history more generally. (And just to be safe, I’ve got a way to connect July 1863 to my Lindbergh book!) To get the Zoom link, the museum just asks you to register in advance.
EVENT DESCRIPTION: Historian Chris Gehrz shares the spiritual biography of Charles A. Lindbergh, the pioneering aviator who came to be as well known for his affirmation of white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and eugenics as for his 1927 flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Gehrz will argue that Lindbergh’s story — the fame and the infamy alike — illustrates how religion and spirituality can shape the course of history — even through the life of someone who never joined a church and remained suspicious of organized religion and traditional belief systems.
Saturday, February 12, 2022, 11am-1pm (in person)
Anoka County Library Local Author Fair
For those of you in the Twin Cities, join us at Northtown Library in Blaine for an annual fair devoted to publicizing the work of local authors. I’ll have a table with signed copies of my Lindbergh biography available for sale ($25, cash or check). You can read short interviews with me and other participants at the library website. There’s also a free keynote address at 10:15am by novelist Allen Eskens.