“[T]he most distinctive feature of history as an academic discipline,” I once argued, “is the relative paucity of the sources available. All we’ve got to go on are whatever artifacts survive the passing of time, and most of those sources erode. Past supporting preservation and archival efforts (including oral history projects), there’s not much historians can do … More Why We Can Remember the Holocaust
Back from a break for our penultimate episode of season 3, Sam and I surveyed a variety of Protestant Reformations, both magisterial (Calvin’s Geneva, the Church of England) and radical (Anabaptists in particular). Featured Books Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History and All Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy Other Readings John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the … More Thursday’s Podcast: Magisterial and Radical Reformations
To mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, I spent the better part of today tweeting quotations, images, and links from the Reformation — covering each year from 1517 until Luther’s death in 1546. Luther and the German Reformation was my focus, but I also touched on the Swiss Reformation, the Radical Reformation, … More The Reformations, 1517-1546
If anyone in the world is predisposed to appreciate the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, it’s me. As a parochial Minnesotan, I’m happy to claim one of our native sons as both U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner. My undergraduate honors thesis featured Frank Kellogg’s co-laureate, French foreign minister Aristide Briand, who went on … More Did Outlawing War Actually Work?
Next month I’ll be teaching a four-week adult Sunday School at Elim Church in Minneapolis, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. (If you can’t make it in June, I’ll be doing a six-week version of that topic starting late September at Calvary Church in Roseville, MN.) Now, I teach Luther et al. for a couple … More Alec Ryrie on “The Pietist Adventure”
Okay, let’s try this again: the college lecture is neither obsolete nor fool-proof. Like anything, it can be done badly, but rightly understood, it’s still a highly important mode of teaching. Two reasons I’m thinking about a topic I’ve addressed several times before: First, Wired just offered another of its biennial critiques of the lecture. Entitled “The Traditional … More The Lecture Lives. I Would Know — I’m a Professor.
I’ll be down in New Ulm, Minnesota this Thursday evening giving a free lecture as part of the city’s centennial series on World War I. A German-American enclave in the southern part of the state, New Ulm had a difficult experience of the war, with its municipal leadership suspected of sedition by the state. You can learn … More Previewing My Talk on World War I Memorials
Next month is a big one for Americans with an interest in World War I, since it marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. belatedly joining that war. Here in St. Paul, for example, I’ll be taking a group of Bethel students to the April 8th opening of WW1 America, a major new exhibit from the … More Commemorating Catastrophe: Jay Winter on Remembering WWI
It’s been about three weeks since last I blogged here at The Pietist Schoolman. Anything been happening? If you didn’t know, I spent most of January in Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany, where my friend Sam Mulberry and I were leading a travel course on the history of World War I. I’m sure I’ll have more to share … More Thinking about the American Present via the European Past
‘Tis the season when we curate some of the histories and biographies showing up on Best Books of 2016 lists, just in case you’re struggling to come up with a gift for that history buff in your life. (Key: A – Amazon; G – Guardian; NYT – New York Times; PW – Publishers Weekly) Svetlana Alexievich, Secondhand Time: … More The Top Histories of 2016?