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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A Transgender Thecla?

November 10th, 2014

By Thomas J. Whitley The Acts of Thecla tells the legendary story of a woman from Iconium (modern day Konya, Turkey) who, after hearing Paul’s preaching, left her mother and her betrothed for a life of asceticism and sexual renunciation. Her story is a fascinating one to read. She escapes death, with God’s help, multiple

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What Year Is It? On women, authority, and the roots of Christian tradition

October 27th, 2014

by Jenny Collins-Elliott “Did I just wander into the 17th century?” reddit user “Zrk2” asked in response to a discussion thread on the subreddit /r/TrueChristian (1) entitled: “Christian woman culture thoughts?” [sic] The poster, “SpecialU,” wanted to know what fellow, anonymous users of /r/TrueChristian—an online message board for “Bible-believing Christians” to discuss their religion and to

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“It is just as easy to reach the portals of Heaven from Cappadocia as from Jerusalem”: Rereading Gregory of Nyssa’s Position on Pilgrimage

October 24th, 2014

by Tara Baldrick-Morrone In the section on John of Lycopolis in the History of the Monks of Egypt, sayings 13–64 detail the three-day visit that seven brothers (i.e., monks) had with John. Upon their arrival, when John inquired about their journey, they responded that they had come to see him “for the good of [their]

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Capitalism’s Turn?

October 22nd, 2014

by Jeffrey Wheatley Scholarly interest in capitalism has been on the rise. The most obvious sign of this interest has been Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which received a surprising amount of media attention for being a rather dense book with new methods but an old argument. Piketty is a French economist, but scholars

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The Devil May Care: Left Behind and Modern American Evangelicalism

October 21st, 2014

by Emily Johnson In the week before the new Left Behind movie hit theatres, marketers released a teaser poster. Above a post-apocalyptic scene in a crowded parking lot are the words: “Please do not bring unbelievers to this movie.” The quotation is attributed to Satan. The movie is an adaptation of the first book in the

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CFP: 14th Annual Florida State University Department of Religion Graduate Student Symposium

October 13th, 2014

  by Thomas J. Whitley   Call for Papers: The Florida State University Department of Religion 14th Annual Graduate Student Symposium February 20-22, 2015 • Tallahassee, Florida The Florida State University Department of Religion is pleased to announce its 14th Annual Graduate Student Symposium to be held February 20-22, 2015 in Tallahassee, Florida. Last year’s

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The Minnesota Turn in the Study of Christianity

October 8th, 2014

Paul Putz The Call for Papers for the spring 2015 meeting of the American Society of Church History is now live (check it out here). The theme, “Contact and Exchange among Religious Groups,” looks to be quite promising, but I was particularly intrigued by this line in the CFP: “Given the location of this meeting

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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

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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

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