On Cephalopods, Religious Contestation, and Railroad Monopolies

October 1st, 2014

by Jeffrey Wheatley The ocean is in fashion. Anchors, oars, whales, maritime flags, and octopuses adorn the button-up shirts of American hipsters. Not to be outdone, academia has also adopted the marine as a central motif in the past decade, often situating the Atlantic World and its symbols as sites, metaphors, and producers of the

Read the rest of this entry →

New Books: Andrew Stern’s Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross

September 29th, 2014

by Andrew Stern While completing my book Southern Crucifix, Southern Cross, I lived in a small town called Ocracoke on the coast of North Carolina. Religious life in this town was a fitting setting in which to write on Catholic-Protestant cooperation. The town had two churches – United Methodist and Assemblies of God – yet

Read the rest of this entry →

“To suffer for doing what is right”: The Social Functions of Martyrological Language

September 26th, 2014

by Tara Baldrick-Morrone When I teach sections on Christianity in my Introduction to World Religions course, I spend a good amount of time on getting my students to think about martyrdom. I do this not only for my own research interests, but because martyrological language plays a large role in the cultural history of Christianity. Oftentimes,

Read the rest of this entry →

Blase Cupich and the Language of the Culture Wars

September 24th, 2014

By Jeffrey Wheatley I have looked on with interest these last few days as a series of buzzes, beeps, and red dots have pushed me to read the latest updates on Pope Francis’s selection of Blase Cupich to be the next Archbishop of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago is the third-largest in the nation. Historically,

Read the rest of this entry →

From Coliseum to Classroom: the Face of Modern Christian Martyrdom

September 22nd, 2014

by Jenny Collins-Elliott “You don’t have to commit intellectual suicide to believe in a Creator.” – Josh Wheaton While Christian and faith-based movies are not new, there has been in recent years a renewed interest and effort put into these films. Thanks to production companies like Pure Flix Entertainment, modern Christian movies have become high-quality

Read the rest of this entry →

Between “Bring Out Your Dead” and “I’m Not Dead Yet”

September 19th, 2014

by Andy McKee In the first half of the nineteenth century, naturalist Samuel G. Morton created a massive database of human skulls in a scientific attempt to categorize and catalog the world. Ann Fabian’s Skull Collectors, is probably my favorite read on the process that took the deaths of displaced peoples (Native Americans, Africans, slaves,

Read the rest of this entry →

Upon Further Review: Interdisciplinarity and the Edited Volume

September 17th, 2014

by Charles McCrary Kathryn Gin Lum’s review of John Carlson and Jonathan Ebel’s edited collection From Jeremiad to Jihad (in the June 2014 issue of Church History) offers a thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion of disciplinarity and genre in scholarship. Lum’s reaction to the book is similar to mine when I read it. It’s a somewhat cumbersome and

Read the rest of this entry →

The Imagined Atheist in Colonial America

September 10th, 2014

by Paul Putz Arthur Scherr’s recent Church History article (“Thomas Jefferson Versus the Historians: Christianity, Atheistic Morality, and the Afterlife”) has already elicited numerous responses at this blog, and I do not wish to add to them. However, I would like to use one of Scherr’s major themes as a jumping off point: his analysis

Read the rest of this entry →

Money and the Heresy of Joel Osteen

September 8th, 2014

By Thomas J. Whitley Make no mistake, Joel Osteen is a heretic. This according to Matt Walsh (popular blogger) and Albert Mohler (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary). Cries of heresy are neither new nor particularly unique, though it seems that the word is bandied about less frequently today than it was for much of

Read the rest of this entry →

Conference Announcement: “How Do We Study Religion and Emotion?”

September 2nd, 2014

Readers of the blog may be interested in the following conference announcement: How Do We Study Religion and Emotion? A Conference at the National Humanities Center February 19-20, 2015 The surge of interest in the study of religion and emotion is part of a broader “affective turn” currently taking place across the humanities. This conference

Read the rest of this entry →