That Was The Week That Was

I reported on a Supreme Court case involving a World War I memorial, talked baseball history on The 252, and reflected on the relationship between faith and science for The Anxious Bench. Elsewhere… • The big religion news of the week is that the United Methodist Church is having its final (?) reckoning over sexuality this weekend. … More That Was The Week That Was

Thursday’s Podcast: Munich (and Why We Travel)

The fourth season of The Pietist Schoolman Podcast wraps up today with Sam Mulberry and me talking about our favorite memorials, museums, meals, and masterpieces in the southern German city of Munich. In addition, we closed with some broader reflections on the spiritual purposes of travel. (If nothing else, skip ahead to 33:50 for our discussion of … More Thursday’s Podcast: Munich (and Why We Travel)

Why We Can Remember the Holocaust

“[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

The Prayers at the Heart of the White Rose

Yesterday I put my Modern Europe students through what’s become a pre-Thanksgiving ritual: watching the 2005 German movie, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, about the anti-Nazi student resistance group known as the White Rose. About, that is, the arrest, interrogation, and execution of its leaders, Sophie and Hans Scholl. Coming after our week on the Final Solution, it’s a wrenching … More The Prayers at the Heart of the White Rose

On Charlottesville: “This Is Not My Country”

“This is not my country.” That’s what I wanted to believe yesterday, as I stumbled back from a week-long vacation in the Rocky Mountains into the ugly events transpiring in Charlottesville, Virginia. Having intentionally tried to avoid the news in order to savor time with my family, it was bewildering to check social media in … More On Charlottesville: “This Is Not My Country”

Christians, National Socialism, and the World Wars

I’d be thrilled to have any chance to write for Christian History Magazine, a venerable publication that has been teaching ordinary Christians about their history since 1982. But I’m especially honored that I got to contribute an article on Christians and National Socialism to an issue dedicated to one of my favorite topics: the Christian experience of … More Christians, National Socialism, and the World Wars

The Bonhoeffer Effect, “Unpleasant Parallels,” and the 2016 Election

Thanks to conservative intellectual Eric Metaxas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer has become a member of this crazy election’s extended cast of characters. At multiple points this year (most recently in a Wall Street Journal op-ed and then a series of tweets), Metaxas has hearkened back to his Bonhoeffer biography in order to make the case for supporting Donald Trump. We ARE responsible for … More The Bonhoeffer Effect, “Unpleasant Parallels,” and the 2016 Election

Religion in The Olympics… And The Olympics as Religion

With the 2016 Summer Olympics just days away, let’s test your knowledge of the religious history of the games: Who banned the ancient Olympics in AD 393, and for what religious reason? What 1935 initiative had the joint support of Reinhold Niebuhr, the first Catholic to be a major party nominee for president, and the … More Religion in The Olympics… And The Olympics as Religion

The Political Misuses of Holocaust History

In recent decades, public consciousness of the Holocaust has increased exponentially. One unfortunate by-product of this otherwise salutary development has been the increased temptation for politicians to exploit references to Hitler, Nazism, and the Holocaust to stigmatize their opponents. So writes historian Christopher Browning, in an essay for Foreign Policy that argues that the “Political exploitation of the … More The Political Misuses of Holocaust History