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 Friday, President Trump told participants in the Values Voter Summit that “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” Now, critics found it hard to take the “Judeo” part seriously, given that Trump immediately followed that line with another version of his pledge to restore “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” And it’s … More The Anti-Fascist Origins of “Judeo-Christian Values”
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?
As usual, things get quiet around here in mid-to-late August as I gear up for the start of another academic year. (Those scintillating syllabi won’t write themselves!) So while I managed to dash off a few thoughts on what happened in Charlottesville, I’ve not had a chance to reflect in any depth on the question … More How Historians Can Teach from Memorials
“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”
If you follow me over at The Anxious Bench, you might know that I wrote a multi-part series on the challenges of writing a biography. There’s a good reason for that: I was considering a biography as my next book project. Today I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Eerdmans to contribute to their Library … More Announcing My Next Book Project!
Of all the ways that the First World War has attracted renewed attention in these years of its ongoing centenary, I don’t think any is less likely than its becoming the setting for the superhero movie debuting tomorrow: Yes, that’s Wonder Woman (played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot) leading a frontal assault across No Man’s … More Wonder Woman and World War I
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
I hope I don’t sound too much like our president when I insist that we had a great turnout Sunday morning for the start of my new class at Salem Covenant Church, on “The Church and the Wars of the 20th Century.” To set the table, I proposed some big questions that will run through our narrative, none … More Unexpected Sites of Christian Pacifism
Here… • I don’t normally start my blogging week on a Saturday night, but as I wrote in response to the executive order on refugees, “things are not normal. It’s just my privilege to live as if they are.” • There are spiritual dangers facing both supporters and opponents of the Trump administration, and one of … More That Was The Week That Was