Spielberg the Historian?

A while back I noted on our department blog that Steven Spielberg’s new film, Lincoln, was receiving extraordinarily positive responses from film critics who had seen advance previews of the movie. (And asked if any of our students or alumni would be interested in writing their own reviews — that invitation still stands, if any … More Spielberg the Historian?

This Day in History: The Gettysburg Address

Seven score and nine years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln ascended the dais at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the sleepy town that had hosted the bloodiest battle in American history just over four months before. Word for word, I can’t imagine a discourse more powerful than the two-minute speech Lincoln … More This Day in History: The Gettysburg Address

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “All have sinned”

150 years ago today, the courts-martial of over 300 Dakota warriors came to an end with convictions for murder and rape. While Pres. Abraham Lincoln commuted most of the sentences, the day after Christmas 1862, thirty-eight were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. In commemoration, here’s a post on the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 that I originally … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: “All have sinned”

“All have sinned”: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Last Friday I decided to put syllabus revision on hold and spend an afternoon continuing my tour of World War I commemoration in the Twin Cities by visiting Fort Snelling, the nearly 200-year old former military installation at the convergence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers that trained officers, processed recruits and draftees, and housed … More “All have sinned”: The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Pledging Allegiance

I wrote this last year for the United States’ Independence Day. Still seems right… Though, for a slightly different take — one more amenable to a celebration of American independence by Christians — see the new Christianity Today interview with Os Guinness and Catholic philosopher Gary Gutting’s most recent post at The Stone. Both contend that … More Best of The Pietist Schoolman: Pledging Allegiance

Happy Presidents’ Day!

Or, technically, Happy Washington’s Birthday, since as Thomas S. Kidd points out (more from him in a few lines), “Presidents’ Day” is a marketing invention, not a Federal holiday. I’ll admit to being an infrequent celebrant of this particular holiday, mostly because it’s been nearly twenty years since I was part of an educational institution … More Happy Presidents’ Day!

Pledging Allegiance

I don’t know quite what to feel on the 4th of July. On the one hand, I’m a sucker for Americana. We’re spending the holiday with my wife’s family, in a small farming town in Iowa. We’ll dress our kids in red, white, and blue, grab a seat on the curb of Main Street to … More Pledging Allegiance