The Costs and Benefits of Attendance: A Retrospective on the SBL/AAR San Diego Meeting (Part I)

January 26th, 2015

By Tara Baldrick-Morrone and Jenny Collins-Elliott This begins a two-part post by Tara and Jenny in which they reflect on the 2014 SBL/AAR meeting in San Diego. Look for the second post in this series on Wednesday. Mining for data When Jenny and I first started talking about writing this post together, I initially wondered

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The Day the Navy Saved Christianity

January 19th, 2015

by James Hinton In 1571 The Christian nations lining the Mediterranean and in Eastern Europe were at a very dangerous point. The Ottoman Empire had been comfortably expanding its way from Asia Minor into Europe and conquering the coastal regions of the Mediterranean. Suleiman the Magnificent had conquered modern day Serbia and Hungary, and in

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The Imagined Atheist in the Early Republic

January 16th, 2015

by Paul Putz Last year I wrote about the imagined atheist in colonial America, and discussed the potential for looking at the ways that atheists were depicted in popular discourse. With this post, I’d like to move ahead chronologically and share four widespread popular depictions of the atheist in the early national United States. First

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#JesusIsCharlie: Of Typos and Identification

January 12th, 2015

By Thomas Whitley Yes, that does say “Jesus is Charlie.” It is what the Wall Street Journal has, for some reason, termed a “typotag” (why was typo insufficient?). #JesusisCharlie is a misspelling of the viral hashtag #JesuisCharlie, which is French for, “I am Charlie.”It is an expression of sentiment and solidarity for those who were

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The New Pew Study: A Victory in the War on Christmas?

December 19th, 2014

by Emily Johnson “The War on Christmas is Over,” reads the headline at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, “Jesus won.” Reporter Christopher Ingraham is referring to a new study from the Pew Research Center, which asked 1,507 American adults about their religious and political beliefs surrounding the holiday, as well as their feelings about various Christmas activities.

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Five “First Books” of Note in 2014

December 10th, 2014

by Paul Putz ‘Tis the season for arbitrary end of the year lists. In the spirit of the season, I’d like to recognize five of my favorite “first books”* (revised dissertations) published this year that cover the history of Christianity in the U.S. Due to the constraints of the arbitrary boundaries I’ve imposed upon myself

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Emmanuel Goldstein, Simon Magus, and Early Christian Propaganda

December 8th, 2014

By Thomas Whitley In George Orwell’s famously popular dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Emmanuel Goldstein is the former Inner Party member who strayed and started the revolution. Goldstein, the story goes, authored The Book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, which every member of his group, The Brotherhood, was required to read. As I have

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A School Calendar’s Reminder about U.S. Public Education and “Civilizing”

December 3rd, 2014

Today’s post is from our newest contributor, Leslie Ribovich. Leslie is beginning a dissertation at Princeton on moral education in New York City public high schools after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed devotional exercises unconstitutional. Her research interests include religion and law, women’s religious history, race and religion, and the history of education. by Leslie Ribovich

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Demonization and Racialization in British North America: Slave Revolts, Devilish Priests, and Infernal Landscapes

December 1st, 2014

by Jeffrey Wheatley  (Although in my last post I proposed that I would use the next few posts to explore historical and historiographical trends related to the study of capitalism, I want to take a brief detour. I have adapted what follows from a paper I gave at the Florida State Department of Religion graduate

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Progressive Evangelicals and Christian History

November 13th, 2014

Paul Putz The history of contemporary progressive evangelicalism has now been the subject of two excellent scholarly books: David Swartz’s Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (Penn, 2012), and Brantley Gasaway’s Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit and Social Justice (North Carolina, 2014). Although I am in the middle of a typical

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