Tag Archives: Spirituality

Holy Rage: Lessons from Standing Rock

23 Dec

Besides frostbite, what did people take away from there? This was probably the first time many non-Native people had been on a reservation, or in the presence of Native ceremonies. That’s a positive. The more people understand that Native Americans have their own religious rituals and objects of veneration—which to many non-Native people are simply features of the landscape—as well as cathedrals and churches, the better. Understanding the natural world as more than just a resource for energy, or a recreational opportunity, or even a food resource, gives moral weight to the effort to contain catastrophic climate change.

Read what else Louise Erdrich has to say about the Standing Rock protests here at the New Yorker: Holy Rage: Lessons from Standing Rock – The New Yorker

Beloved of God, Wherever You Are

13 Dec

Scott Hoezee has some wise words for us all as Christmas nears and this calendar year draws to a close: Beloved of God, Wherever You Are – THE TWELVE

What we can learn from a WWII-era Orthodox nun

4 Dec

She died resisting the Nazis. Her critique of Christians in society still resonates today. Amy Frykholm at The Christian Century explains the views of Maria Skobtsova that can help us see ourselves a bit more clearly: What we can learn from a WWII-era Orthodox nun | The Christian Century

The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead

30 Nov

But Jesus-centered faith needs a new name. Christians have retired outdated labels before. During the late 19th century, when scientific rationalism fueled the questioning of Scripture, “fundamentalism” arose as an intelligent defense of Christianity. By the 1930s, however, fundamentalism was seen as anti-intellectual and judgmental. It was then that the term “evangelicalism” was put forward by Christianity Today’s first editor, Carl F. H. Henry, as a new banner under which a broad coalition of Jesus followers could unite.

More on “evangelicalism” now, from Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne in an op-ed in the New York Times: The Evangelicalism of Old White Men Is Dead – The New York Times

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving: A Call to Gratitude, Humility, and Empathy

22 Nov

In the wake of a divisive election, we should revisit Abraham Lincoln’s original 1863 proclamation of a national day of Thanksgiving. We’ll find not only gratitude, but the virtues of humility and empathy. Read historian Chris Gehrz’s piece here at the Anxious Bench: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving: A Call to Gratitude, Humility, and Empathy

Clinton and Nouwen: A Historian Considers Hillary Clinton’s Spiritual Stamina

17 Nov

Dordt College alumna and Calvin College historian Kristin Du Mez offers some reflections on Hillary Clinton’s religious faith in light of her election defeat. (Du Mez is working on a book about Clinton’s faith.) Read Du Mez’s piece here at The Anxious Bench: Hillary Clinton’s Spiritual Stamina

How to Restore Your Faith in Democracy, according to Charles Taylor

12 Nov

Plato proposed a republic run by enlightened philosophers, and [Charles] Taylor has some ideas about what he might do if he were in charge. In big cities, he told me, it’s easy for people to feel engaged in the project of democracy; they’re surrounded by the drama of inclusion. But in the countryside, where jobs are disappearing, main streets are empty, and church attendance is down, democracy seems like a fantasy, and people end up “sitting at home, watching television. Their only contact with the country’s problems is a sense that everything’s going absolutely crazy. They have no sense of control.” He advocates raising taxes and giving the money to small towns, so that they can rebuild. He is in favor of localism and “subsidiarity”—the principle, cited by Alexis de Tocqueville and originating in Catholicism, that problems should be solved by people who are nearby. Perhaps, instead of questing for political meaning on Facebook and YouTube, we could begin finding it in projects located near to us. By that means, we could get a grip on our political selves, and be less inclined toward nihilism on the national scale. (It would help if there were less gerrymandering and money in politics, too.)

Read more about Canadian Catholic Charles Taylor’s views on the U.S., democracy, and our election here at the New Yorker: How to Restore Your Faith in Democracy – The New Yorker

Pietism instead of Evangelicalism?

10 Nov

Bethel University historian Chris Gehrz offers pietism as a label for those who may find evangelical too problematic: Done with “Evangelical”? Maybe You Should Try… – The Pietist Schoolman

All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

1 Nov

If time is a dimension of Creation, then what would it look like for Christians to be stewards of the past? Some All Saints’ Day reflections from Bethel University historian Chris Gehrz: All Saints’ Day and the Stewardship of the Past

Pondering Miracles, Medical and Religious

6 Sep

Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist, medical historian, and self-described atheist, examined 1,400 miracle investigations by the Vatican, from 1588 to 1999. Her reflections at the New York Times are worth reading: Pondering Miracles, Medical and Religious – The New York Times

Exploring the Past

Reading, Thinking, and Blogging about History

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Lenten Lamentations

Preparing to Participate in God's Mosaic Kingdom

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

Reformed Journal: The Twelve

Reformed. Done Daily.


by Alex Scarfe


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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