History: Jerks Studying Jerks

One of the most venerable historians in the blogosphere is Ann Little, whose Historiann blog has been around since the George W. Bush administration. As you might have noticed from her quotations in my Anxious Bench series on biography, Little is not only a gifted historian but an insightful, provocative observer of our discipline. See, for example, her post this past … More History: Jerks Studying Jerks

Conservatives for Progressives to Read (revisited)

Ah, 2012: when I lamented how civil discourse was being replaced by “ideological segregation,” as the Left and Right engaged in “epistemic closure.” That phrase came from Julian Sanchez, who had observed that, among many conservatives, “Reality is defined by a multimedia array of interconnected and cross promoting conservative blogs, radio programs, magazines, and of course, Fox News. Whatever conflicts with … More Conservatives for Progressives to Read (revisited)

Thanksgiving Break

While Bethel doesn’t actually start its break until Wednesday, I plan to take the entire week off from blogging. In the meantime, let me suggest some alternate reading material: • Tracy McKenzie’s Thanksgiving countdown: “As an alternative to the ubiquitous countdown to Black Friday, each weekday this month I have been posting brief essays on … More Thanksgiving Break

Is (Responsible, Thoughtful) Hagiography Coming Back?

Hagiography is not a term that most Western academics dream of seeing in reviews of their work, but historian Rick Kennedy meant it as a plaudit when he dedicated his recent Christian Scholar’s Review essay to an “emerging genre” he termed the “new academic hagiography”: In this New Hagiography the author must try to analyze methodically while believing. Unthinking piety has … More Is (Responsible, Thoughtful) Hagiography Coming Back?

That Was The Week That Was

Here… • The most interesting sailor, Civil War veteran, painter, linguist, pastor, theologian, and university founder you’ve never heard of had a birthday. • Can Christians rehabilitate the word “piety“? • Our WWI trip: twenty-one days in Europe in just eleven photos. • Video footage from that trip featured in the latest webisode from our department. … More That Was The Week That Was

Headed to the Conference on Faith and History!

Later today I’ll be flying to southern California to join fellow members of the Conference on Faith and History (CFH) at its biennial meeting, held this year on the lovely campus of Pepperdine University. Now, I’d be excited simply to exchange the weather of St. Paul, MN for that of Malibu, CA for a couple days, … More Headed to the Conference on Faith and History!

The “Farce” of Christian Higher Education

One thing I’ve learned in 3+ years of blogging is that the format tempts you into thinking that there are thoughts that will never be thought unless you think them, and words that will never be said unless you say them. So I’ve tried to avoid having a hair trigger — occasionally restraining myself from publishing even … More The “Farce” of Christian Higher Education

History as a “Ministry of Listening”

As I mentioned yesterday, public radio journalist Krista Tippett recently appeared at Bethel University to speak about her book Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit. One of those conversations inspired yesterday’s post on what historians mean when they ask the question “Why?” of the past. Today I want to reflect on Tippett’s larger purpose, as the … More History as a “Ministry of Listening”

Tracy McKenzie on David Barton: “What’s Really at Stake”

I said it this morning on my Pietist Schoolman Facebook page, but it bears repeating for the larger audience that reads the blog itself: Within the evangelical world it’s hard to overstate the importance of this critique of David Barton, coming as it does from the president of the Conference on Faith and History and chair of the History … More Tracy McKenzie on David Barton: “What’s Really at Stake”