Trump offers a lesson in “Whig History”

When it comes to "doing" history, sometimes explaining different interpretive frameworks can be difficult. Take a narrative that commits the fallacy of "Whiggishness,' for example. This is an historical faux pas non-historians -- especially politicians -- often commit where events of the past are strung together in a way that artificially demonstrates social and political … Continue reading Trump offers a lesson in “Whig History”

Descendants of Puritans protest references to “witch hunts” at Mueller hearings

Most of us don’t think twice about calling a misguided search for wrongdoing a “witch hunt,” but for some Massachusetts descendants of Puritans, who still take witch hunting very seriously, willy-nilly references to the practice is cause for protest. We reached out to one protester -- the reverend Goodman Mather, who lives on his family's … Continue reading Descendants of Puritans protest references to “witch hunts” at Mueller hearings

“Space Rock” is a thing! Check out Barton Price’s new blog on Rock and Roll history

Check out some of the posts over at Rock History Professor, a new blog by my friend and fellow Hoosier, Barton Price, who is now blogging on the "intersection of rock music, American culture, and religion." In addition to teaching on the history of Rock and Roll, Barton works in academic support services at Purdue … Continue reading “Space Rock” is a thing! Check out Barton Price’s new blog on Rock and Roll history

How a mad prophet helped start the Moravian Church

Sometimes there's a fine line between madness and religious genius and whether its one or the other can be a matter of interpretation. A recent lecture about the beginnings of the Moravian Church held at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, reveals that the early inhabitants of Herrnhut found themselves wrestling with this question as they witnessed … Continue reading How a mad prophet helped start the Moravian Church

The conspiratorial roots of right-wing opposition to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Though Donald Trump's recent racist tweets may have showcased the far-right's strident opposition to Muslim "squad" members, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the foundations for this vitriol have been in the works long before the two Representatives were elected. While Trump defenders are claiming its all about Omar's democratic socialism, for decades now, a cluster of … Continue reading The conspiratorial roots of right-wing opposition to Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib

Jimmy Carter’s unique mix of Sunday School, politics, and historical memory

Jimmy Carter, whose life-long faith and charity work is well-known, has taught Sunday School for most of his life. Perhaps you didn't know it, but you can actually attend his class at Maranatha Baptist Church, though they recommend you get there no later that 5:30 am if you want a good seat! (Back in May, … Continue reading Jimmy Carter’s unique mix of Sunday School, politics, and historical memory

Is NASA applying Manifest Destiny to Outer Space?

Earlier this week NPR's Mary Louise Kelly interviewed NASA administrator (and former Republican Representative from Oklahoma), Jim Bridenstine, on All Things Considered. When asked, "Why do humans have to go to Mars?" Bridenstine remarked that its not just human nature to explore, but "its who we are as a country." That's why "we" ventured to … Continue reading Is NASA applying Manifest Destiny to Outer Space?

We need more “Reconstruction buffs”

Civil War buffs - you know some of them. They've visited the battlefield, can tell you the details of uniforms and weapons technology, and love to debate the merits of wartime generals. They know battlefield geography and the the conditions of ordinary soldiers. But I doubt you know any "Reconstruction buffs." Reconstruction refers to the … Continue reading We need more “Reconstruction buffs”