Rod Dreher has written a graciously long response to my post from last week on his notion of the Benedict Option, which he begins by arguing that I mischaracterized. Dreher says that his idea—that Christians should retreat, if not withdraw, from mainstream cultural arena and focus inward on strengthening their own communities—is […]
American evangelicalism is anti-intellectual. Such a view has enjoyed fairly wide currency since Mark Noll’s The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. In Apostles of Reason, Molly Worthen attempts to correct this view, but not by rejecting it outright. She shows how American evangelicals have been engaged in a range of intellectual projects – institutions, magazines, […]
What is responsible for the rise of atheism in history? According to Nick Spencer the answer lies in politics, not science. And it’s politics, he thinks, that explains why only 2% of American report being atheists, and why those atheists continue to be regarded more negatively than religious believers.
Spencer’s general argument rests on […]
How do we recognize the hand of providence? All historians have to confront this question in some form. Considered in literary terms providence is a trope, one emplotment of structured explanation amongst many. In the attempt to understand and explain the past historians offer scholarly stories in which evidence is intentionally collected, critically evaluated, and […]
Consider the brief “history” of atheism as outlined in a recent post by a member of an atheist group in Tucson, Arizona. Here history is construed as the presentation of facts across time; to tell the history of atheism quickly all that is required are the names, dates, and arguments of various figures presented […]
In his book Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? John Fea explores the history of Christian nationalism, the relationship between Christianity and the American Revolution, and the beliefs of several of America’s founders. The most interesting […]
Religion is sometimes held to be untrue today because there are so many different and often conflicting claims made about it. To even speak of “religion” in such reified and monolithic terms offends contemporary ears. In an address to the 2009 American Academy of Religion conference in Montreal, then president Mark Juergensmeyer pointed […]
Dilemmas and Connections: Selected Essays by Charles Taylor. Harvard, 2011, 424pp.
When faced with a difficulty or a problem we often attempt to take stock of our situation in order to come to a solution. But taking stock can itself be a complicated process, and there are many ways to disagree about how this […]
Months ago, I wrote about Jack Cashill, a man whose conservative ideals go beyond mere political opinion into blind paranoia. He is an American historian whose favorite topic of writing, it seems, is finding new angles to historical events and creating new and cohesive narratives in which to fit these “fresh” perspectives. (Another name […]
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