That Was The Week That Was

This first week of 2022 I previewed some upcoming Lindbergh events and reflected on whether Christians ought to treat biography as hagiography, hamartiography, or something else. Elsewhere:

• Yesterday my university decided to shift most classes online for the remainder of our J-term. I’m fine with that in our situation, but there are good reasons to be wary of remote learning at this point in the COVID pandemic.

• One historian is trying to revise the conventional understanding of Prohibition, arguing that the temperance movement “was a globe-spanning network of activists and politicians who tilted not against sin but against the economic exploitation of trafficking in highly addictive substances.”

Nathaniel Currier’s 1846 lithograph illustrating “The Drunkard’s Progress” — Library of Congress/Wikimedia

• Is the United States a Christian nation? David French says it depends on how you define that term

• Over at the Patheos network, our Anxious Bench blog is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Meanwhile, the Patheos Nonbelief channel seems to be almost defunct.

• This week at AB, Jehu J. Hanciles wrote about the effects of immigration on Christianity in America. Meanwhile, the AP reported that migration is also reshaping Christianity in Spain

• And my AB colleague Philip Jenkins noted elsewhere how soccer players of Caribbean and African descent talk freely of their Christian faith in a country as increasingly secular as Great Britain.

• How can women exert influence within faiths that bar them from traditional positions of religious leadership?

• “It does not make me doubt the existence or the goodness of God,” evangelical climate scientist Katharine Kayhoe said of fellow believers’ skepticism. “It makes me doubt God’s ability to act in people who call themselves his followers.”

• Over thirty years after The Simpsons debuted the character, is it time to see Ned Flanders “as a little more aspirational”?