Earlier this month I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at the 2019 Twin Cities Undergraduate Theology Conference, a joint effort of four evangelical colleges: Bethel University, Crown College, North Central University, and the University of Northwestern St. Paul. I decided to use the occasion to think in public about another kind of … More A Sacramental Vision of the Liberal Arts
To varying degrees, I’m a fan of the most prominent team sports in America: baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. But I’m less familiar with two other kinds of athletic competition that have deep histories, distinctive cultures, and significant fanbases: horse racing and auto racing. So this week on The 252, we asked Sam to tell … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Making the Case for Indy Car and Horse Racing
Like many of you, I spent a long time watching yesterday’s terrible fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. I’m still sorting out the feelings, trying to understand why I felt as sad as I did — knowing that others took it far harder… First, it’s always painful to see the world get a … More The Church Is (Not Just) a Building: Some Thoughts on Notre Dame
“What are we history professors for?” That’s the existential question asked by Rachel Wheeler in the current issue of Perspectives, the monthly magazine of the American Historical Association. Wheeler urged fellow Americanists, at least, to respond to white nationalism by offering students a different kind of national story. But she acknowledged that this was not … More Is Teaching Like Preaching?
This week The 252 welcomes sports historian Paul Putz of Messiah College. We asked Paul about the history of “Sportianity” — Frank Deford’s term for the fusion of sports with evangelical piety, plus the role of faith in recent protests by African American NFL players, Paul’s experience teaching undergraduate courses like the one our podcast previews, and … More Wednesday’s Podcast: Sportianity
It’s March, and that means it’s time for The 252 to devote most of an episode to college basketball! With the help of guest philosopher/Indiana booster Sara Shady, we nominated eight players and coaches for a college hoops Mount Rushmore. You can vote for your four favorites in the poll below. Before we wrapped up that segment, … More Wednesday’s Podcast: College Basketball
When better to focus on America’s National Pastime than the day that Minnesota shatters its February record for snowfall? Yes, it’s our spring training episode of The 252! • Chris Moore suggested some ways that baseball is both shaped by politics and helps us to think about politics. • Then we discussed who belongs on … More Wednesday’s Podcast: The Mount Rushmore of Baseball History
If you’re interested in church-state relations or war commemoration (or, like me, both), check out today’s Atlantic article on American Humanist Association v. American Legion. Being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court next week, the case has to do with a World War I memorial standing in a traffic circle in the Maryland suburbs of Washington. There’s a … More Should American War Memorials Use Explicitly Christian Symbols?
Almost from the moment I got to Bethel University (sixteen years ago!), I started dreaming about developing two new courses. The one on World War II launched five years ago, with its fourth iteration starting next week. But aside from one independent study, I’ve never quite been able to follow through with a History of … More Coming Soon… The History and Politics of Sports
On the last full day of our January travel course on World War I, we take our students to Munich’s modern art museum and ask them to write about whichever work best reflects what’s on their minds at the end of three weeks of studying total war and genocide. If I’d completed that assignment myself, … More Europe in Ruins: A Photo Essay