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History

Looking back on our nation’s role in slavery and racism, communities are struggling with how to memorialize and interpret the past. Sometimes, to enter well into the future, we need to own our past. […] Read More

Hitler came to power out of people’s fear. They embraced an evil man, believing he was the only alternative to anarchy and communism. He promised to make Germany great again. Are we repeating history? […] Read More

I’m from the South – Arkansas to be exact. When I was young, I never understood how the emotional and ideological divisions of the U.S. Civil War continued to cause divide. Sure, when I went off to college in Texas, my roommates ribbed me about being a Yankee from The North (of Texas). Plenty of […] Read More

An old saying often attributed to Napoleon is: “History is but a fable agreed upon.” Postmodern philosophy is teaching us that there is no such thing as an objective account of history; history is always written and taught from some point of view. There is no “view from nowhere.” So, when I read a book […] Read More

My recollections of the civil rights movement of the ’60s are rather limited. I was sheltered from much of the reality and shaped by a social context that placed blame solely on “troublemakers” like Martin Luther King Jr. Living in a community where African Americans were scarce and isolated led to little contact outside my […] Read More

February 5, 1631. That is the date on which the Lyon, a British ship, “anchored safe amid great and dangerous ice floes in Boston harbor.” On board that ship (which had set sail from Bristol, England, on December 1) were Roger Williams and his wife, Mary. The words quoted in the above paragraph are from […] Read More

Recent conversations and commentary have included the intriguing observation that positions taken and decisions made often reflect a desire to be on “the right side of history.” Coming as it did on the heels of a hotly contested election, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and the tragedy at Newtown, Conn., the inauguration and the discussions […] Read More

After the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it is worth reflecting again on the question: whose history do we read? Toward the end of the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson presented to the Congress an ambitious scheme for a new international order based on democratic government, the right of small nations to […] Read More

A fragment has caused a global flutter about historic Christianity. The claim that Jesus was married has flashed around the world, saturating newspapers, online sources and TV news shows. It has sparked unbridled speculation about the future of Christianity. The New York Times broke the news on Sept. 18 with the headline, “A Faded Piece […] Read More

Vying for space and time on the religion-and-media front this week  — in competition with presidential campaigns, Muslim extremist riots and almost numberless other stirs – has been the attention given to a tiny piece of papyrus which includes the teeny words “Jesus” and “wife.” This text was pictured as being “hot off the press,” […] Read More