Where to Find God

11 Aug

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

I grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, near the edge of the Black Hills. Just behind my home was a church building that housed a number of different congregations over the years – a white evangelical church, a Native Christian church, a Lutheran church, and now, the last I checked, an Orthodox church.

As I grew up, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit met me in conversations with my parents, in an Evangelical Free basement after Awana, during an Assemblies of God worship service, and at youth group meetings at Hope Christian Reformed Church. While the Reformed tradition has a hold on me, these other traditions (and more) also play a role in how I see God at work.

So begins Northwestern College alum Keith Starkenburg’s reflections on “place” and the sacred. You may read his entire piece at The Twelve here.

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In this rapaciously dry year, a quiet question grows louder: What are we doing here?

10 Aug

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Four years ago, my fiancé, Colin, and I decided to move to New Mexico. We had been living in a secluded river valley in western Colorado, but both of us were venturing into self-employment and thought it’d be easier in a bigger town. So we rigged our pickup with a load the Beverly Hillbillies would have admired — furniture, lamps, buckets full of pottery glaze — and drove south. We crossed the Chama River, turned left into the Española Valley, and stopped at a Lotaburger for the cheap thrill of green chile on a fast-food cheeseburger. The burger was bad but the chile was hot, and I was happy. I’d waited my whole life to make this move.

So begins Cally Carswell’s fine essay on drought and a place–Santa Fe, New Mexico. You may read the rest of her High Country News piece here.

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Being a Victorian Librarian Was Oh-So-Dangerous

9 Aug

Dangerous Librarians

Quick, think of a job that’s hard on your health. Librarian Rosalee McReynolds writes that in the late nineteenth century, a common response might have been: librarian.

So begins Livia Gershon’s concise historical piece at JSTOR on the health of women librarians in the late nineteenth century. You may read the entire post here.

The Religious World Changed in 1968, but Not in the Ways We Think

6 Aug
Media and academics in the late 1960s stressed the trends they did because they approved of them. They wanted a progressive, secular-leaning, ecumenical future, and wrote as if it was inevitable.

Media and academics in the late 1960s stressed the trends they did because they approved of them. They wanted a progressive, secular-leaning, ecumenical future, and wrote as if it was inevitable.

In recent months I have been lecturing and teaching quite a bit on key anniversaries – on the centennial of the end of First World War, but also on that other tumultuous year, 1968.

The religious aspects of 1968 are not quite as legendary as other events and trends of that year, but they are extraordinarily significant.

Re-examining them today, what is perhaps most striking is the gulf that separates contemporary perceptions of key trends from later views. What we see at the time is very different from what later generations will recognize as the truly important developments.

So begins a brief essay at Australian Broadcasting Religion & Ethics by historian Philip Jenkins. You may read the entire fascinating piece here.

Why fewer Americans are attending religious services

2 Aug

Fewer adults are attending religious services in the United States, but not necessarily because they don’t believe.

Many cite practical or personal reasons for skipping weekly services, according to new Pew Research Center data released Wednesday (Aug. 1).

Most notably, nearly 4 in 10 say they simply practice their faith in other ways and remain “fairly religious by a number of measures,” according to Pew Associate Director of Research Gregory A. Smith.

So begins Emily McFarlan Miller’s report at Religion News Service on the latest Pew poll. You may read her entire report here.

From tear gas to tweets: how protesting has changed since the tumultuous summer of 1968

28 Jul

Hours of interviews with former and current activists showed us that while the blueprints for battle have changed, the issues many people are fighting for have not. In 1968, the goal was to raise public awareness about the struggle of marginalized communities. Activists then used music, art, and writing as well as protests to bring that struggle forward. In 2018, the dream is not just recognition but representation. Activists today are using the ballot box in a bid to address inequality from positions of power. They also have technology to magnify their impact online, in the streets, and in political discourse.

So observes Jessica Mendoza at the Christian Science Monitor on how activist protesting has and has not changed since 1968. You may read the entire story here.

The First Native American to Receive a Medical Degree

26 Jul

Susan La Flesche Picotte

In case you’ve missed reading Joe Starita’s 2016 book A Warrior of the People, a concise introduction to Susan La Flesche Picotte of the Omaha Nation is here.

Exploring the Past

Reading, Thinking, and Blogging about History

Enough Light

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The Text Message

Discoveries from processing and reference archivists on the job

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Wirelesshogan: Reflections from the Hogan

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

The Way of Improvement Leads Home

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

The Pietist Schoolman

The website and blog of historian Chris Gehrz

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American Indian News

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Your guide to practically true history.

THE TWELVE

Reformed. Done Daily.

i-history

by Alex Scarfe

blogwestdotorg.wordpress.com/

Thoughtful Conversation about the American West

Northwest History

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

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