Facing Our Demons: What Does Satan Have to Do With Equal Rights?

March 25th, 2015

Emily S. Johnson A church in Knoxville, Tennessee sparked controversy this week when it posted this message on its outdoor sign: “Remember, Satan was the first to demand equal rights.” One resident told local news station WBIR that the message was clearly “meant to offend a particular community – the LGBT community.” It seems equally

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Gender in Christianity: Immutable or Fluid?

March 11th, 2015

Thomas Whitley The Baptist General Convention of Texas has recently announced their position that one’s gender assignment is “immutable.” In a statement the group said that while “some people today are expressing a desire to identify themselves with the gender which differs from their biological gender”and some “are seeking to function in the broader society

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The Buffered Self and Movie Buffs

February 25th, 2015

Jeffrey Wheatley The Academy Awards took place this past Sunday, so I thought a post on movie-going would be appropriate. Plenty of religious studies and American religious history books have engaged religion and cinema in one way or another (Judith Weisenfeld’s stellar Hollywood Be Thy Name comes to mind), but, despite a once tepid response

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Heresiology As a Zero Sum Game

February 9th, 2015

Thomas Whitley Marcus Borg’s recent death has spurred many to speak out about his contributions to scholarship and to Christianity. Many celebrated Borg; some celebrated his passing. One reflection that caught my attention, though, was by Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In speaking of Borg’s “progressive Christianity,”Mohler says that “when you’re looking

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CFP: “Return To Sender: American Evangelical Missions in Europe”

February 2nd, 2015

Call for Papers Return to Sender: American Evangelical Missions in Europe, 1830-2010 Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, July 15-16, 2015 In 1830 American agencies sent out the first missionaries to continental Europe to establish new churches. This act signaled the beginning of a reverse movement of missionary activities. After two centuries of European efforts to take care of

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American Views of Cuba during the Spanish-American War

January 30th, 2015

Image from America’s War for Humanity Related in Story and Picture, Embracing a Complete History of Cuba’s Struggle for Liberty, and the Glorious Heroism of America’s Soldiers and Sailors . (New York: N.D. Thompson Publishing Company, 1898), 253. by Jeffrey Wheatley For the first time in decades radical changes in US-Cuban relations are a distinct possibility;

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

January 28th, 2015

By  Jenny Collins-Elliott and Tara Baldrick-Morrone This concludes a two-part post by Tara and Jenny in which they reflect on the 2014 SBL/AAR meeting in San Diego. The first post in this series can be found here. Leading up to 2014’s annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion there was a sustained conversation online

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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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