Archives For History

 

In addition to being Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, today is the date attributed to the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s birth…

 
Here is Douglass’s scathing indictment of (white) American Christianity, which was published as an appendix to later editions of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
 

READ Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Poem
Frederick Douglass

 
I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion. To remove the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation. What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the _slaveholding religion_ of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference–so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.

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Motivated by Myth
 
A Feature Review of
 

In Search of Ancient Roots:
The Christian Past and the Evangelical Identity Crisis
Kenneth J. Stewart

 
Paperback: IVP Academic, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Andrew Stout
 

Kenneth J. Stewart is in the business of debunking myths that surround Protestant traditions. In his book Ten Myths About Calvinism: Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition (IVP Academic, 2011), Stewart offered a historical defense of Reformed Protestantism in response to misrepresentations from both adherents to and detractors from that tradition. In Search of Ancient Roots: The Christian Past and the Evangelical Identity Crisis finds him casting a broader net. Stewart is here concerned to counter the impression that evangelical Protestantism is historically adrift, severed from the legacy and influence of ancient Christianity. This concern is motivated by former evangelicals who have converted to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as those whose journeys have brought them to “post-evangelical” expressions of the faith. According to Stewart, many of these departures are motivated by a myth – the myth that evangelicalism’s roots are located elsewhere than in the early expressions of the Christian faith.

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Today is the first day of Black History Month… 

Although we should be reading more books by black authors, and about black history, throughout the year, February is a good reminder of this, and an opportunity to be more intentional in our efforts to read diversely.

Looking for a book on black history to read this month?

Here are 15 important ones that might be of interest. Although not all of these would be categorized by libraries / bookstores as history books, they are all saturated with the history of the black experience in the United States. All of these (with one noted exception) were written by black authors. We’ve tried to focus on stories from black history that may not be as familiar as the MLK and Malcolm X ones from the civil rights era.

 

  

Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008

Henry Louis Gates

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

  

Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning

feat. contributions by Shane Claiborne, Lisa Sharon Harper, Karen Swallow Prior, MORE
Mark Labberton, Ed.

*** Read a review of this book

 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

  

Love Undocumented: Risking Trust in a Fearful World

Sarah Quezada

*** Read an interview with the author

 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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The Present, Shameful Debacle.

A Review of

No One Cares About Crazy People:
The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
.
Ron Powers

Hardback: Hachette Books, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle  ]

 

Reviewed by Ben Brazil

 

*** LISTEN to an NPR interview
     with the author of this book… 

 

When Scott Walker was in the midst of his successful run for Wisconsin’s governorship, Milwaukee County Hospital faced allegations that its mentally ill patients had suffered vicious abuse. As Walker’s team worried about political fall-out – he was Milwaukee County executive at the time – an aid’s email offered reassurance.  “No one,” she explained, “cares about crazy people.”

Ron Powers’ new book, which draws its title from that callous phrase, provides infuriating proof that it is entirely accurate, as well as heartbreaking evidence that it is not.  On the infuriating side, Powers provides a nuanced, multi-layered history of the callousness, ignorance, greed, and ideological rigidities that have left the nation’s mentally ill in “conditions of atrocity” (xix).

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Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

   

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (Cultural Liturgies)

James K.A. Smith

Baker Academic

*** Watch several brief videos
    that introduce this book
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A Timely Meditation
 
A Brief Review of 
 

October 31, 1517:
Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World

Martin Marty

Hardback: Paraclete Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 
Today marks the 500th anniversary of the date attributed to Martin Luther’s posting of his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church Wittenberg. Martin Marty, one of the most distinguished scholars of church history over the last century, has written a powerful and timely meditation on the significance of this event. It is, as James Martin, SJ refers to it in his foreword: “a short book on a big topic written by an expert.”

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

   

The Art of Loading Brush: New Agrarian Writings

Wendell Berry

*** Read an excerpt of this book

 

NEXT BOOK >>>>>

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One of the best new book
releases of this week
is …

 

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World
Christopher de Hamel

Hardback: The Penguin Press, 2017.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]
 
 

Here are several brief videos featuring Christopher de Hamel
that introduce the captivating world of medieval books…

BBC Video that introduces de Hamel’s book…

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