Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  The Court Evangelicals in Today’s Washington Post
  2.  Family Research Council Weighs-In On My “Court Evangelicals” Piece
  3.  Robert Jeffress Responds to My Washington Post Piece
  4.  This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  5.  David Barton Can’t Let Go Of This John Adams Quote
  6.  What Did James Dobson Tell the National Association of Evangelicals When It Invited Bill Clinton to Its “Annual Event?”
  7.  “The State of the Evangelical Mind” Conference
  8.  An African American Minister Renounces His Ordination in the Southern Baptist Convention
  9.  Why Isn’t Clarence Thomas in the National Museum of African American History and Culture?
  10. Praying for the President is Fine

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  This May Be the Best Thing I Have Read on Trump
  2.  How to Interview at a Teaching College
  3.  The King and His Court (Evangelicals)
  4.  What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  5. Kyle Roberts: 8 Reasons Why Evangelicals Still Trust Trump
  6. “If I’d known what waited for me in life, I would have put a lot more attention into history”
  7.  The Very Latest from the Randall Stephens Collection
  8.  Court Evangelical Jeffress Defends “Make America Great Again” Song
  9.  Sportianity: A New Blog
  10.  The Author’s Corner with Mary Beth Mathews

Sportianity: A New Blog

Frank_Deford

Frank Deford coined the term “Sportianity”

Baylor University graduate student Paul Putz has started a blog on sports and American Christianity.

Here is how he describes “Sportianity“:

Let’s start with the name. “Sportianity” is a term coined by legendary sportswriter Frank Deford. He used it in a 1976 Sports Illustrated series on religion in sport (read more about that series here). Deford used it in a mostly negative sense, implying that Sportianity was a corruption of true Christianity; it was a religion “more devoted to exploiting sport than to serving it.”

I do not use it in the negative sense implied by Deford. Rather “Sportianity” is meant as a descriptive term for the unique cultural world that stands at the intersection of sports and (mostly evangelical Protestant) Christianity. It is inhabited by institutions like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, and others. It is championed by media/publications like Sports Spectrum. And it is represented by celebrity athletes like Tim Tebow, Stephen Curry, and Maya Moore. 

Over the coming months I will focus on two types of content. First, book reviews/summaries. There are hundreds of books that take up the topic of sports and Christianity. Some are written from a critical perspective, others are intended to inspire true believers. Still others are biographies or autobiographies that focus on the faith of famous athlete and coaches. I will use this space to discuss some of those books, both new and old. 

Second, biographical vignettes. I’m currently finishing up a dissertation on the history of Sportianity. In my research I often come across the names of famous athletes from the past who were public about their faith. Many of those athletes will not make it into my dissertation, so I will post brief historical snippets about some of them here. 

Good luck with the new blog, Paul!  We will be reading.

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  2. What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  3. Why John Wesley Opposed the American Revolution
  4. This Video Proves Why Robert Jeffress is the Court Evangelical of All Court Evangelicals
  5. Why Did First Baptist Church of Dallas Have “Freedom Sunday” on June 25?
  6. When Did Americans Start Talking Without an English Accent?
  7. Court Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. Doubles-Down on His Court Evangelicalism
  8. FOUND: The Slave Quarters of Sally Hemings
  9. A Contrarian’s View of Patriotic Worship Services
  10. Jon Meacham: “Every Day is Christmas” for Historians in the Age of Trump

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. What Was Being Worshiped Yesterday at First Baptist Church in Dallas?
  2. This May Be the Best Think I Have Read on Trump
  3. Did Jay Sekulow Urge Poor People to Give Money to His Christian Non-Profit So He Could Pay Millions of Dollars to Family Members?
  4. David Brooks’s 2004 Op-Ed on John Stott is More Relevant Than Ever
  5. Why Did the First Baptist Church of Dallas Have “Freedom Sunday” on June 25?
  6. Where are the Court Evangelicals Today?
  7. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Bernie Sanders Should Apologize or Resign
  8. On the Ten Commandments Monument in Arkansas
  9. Welcome New Readers (Again)
  10. Irony Alert: Pro-Life Republicans Support a Health Care Bill That Punishes the “Sick & the Poor”

Welcome New Readers (Again!)

Hi Eared Welcome Waving Hello Seal Hallo Marine

Welcome to the blog!

Last week we had a major surge in readership at The Way of Improvement Leads Home that brought about 250,000 readers to the site.  At that moment I wrote a post titled “Welcome New Readers” to give our new visitors a sense of what we do here.

In the last day or two we have had a similar surge in readership centering on a couple of different posts.  I may be wrong, but I think that these visitors are not the same as the ones who came to the blog last week.

So once again, I want to welcome you to The Way of Improvement Leads Home.  Please look around and consider making the blog a part of your regular online reading ritual.

What you will find here:

  • Daily news headlines every morning
  • Links to thoughtful posts on American history, American religion, politics, the humanities, and education.
  • Weekly interviews with the authors of some of the best new books in American history and American religious history
  • Weekly roundups of the best links in these areas (“Sunday Night Odds and Ends“)
  • Commentary on a host of issues
  • A regular podcast devoted to American history and historical thinking
  • And much, much more…!

Thanks for visiting.  You can learn more about John Fea, the host of this blog, here.

“Made By History”

King

“Instead of making history, we are made by history.”

Made by History” is a new blog that the Washington Post launched today.  Here is a taste of the press release:

The Washington Post today launched Made by History, a new blog in The Post’s Outlook section that will explore parallels between today’s political climate and history.

“Outlook often publishes posts that draw from history to contextualize current events, and we’re excited to have created a home in our section for this type of analysis,” said Mike Madden, deputy editor of Outlook. “Through the deep historical knowledge of our contributors, Made in History will broaden readers’ views of this political moment and introduce them to diverse scholarly perspectives on the latest news.”

The blog will feature commentary from 75 historians from nationally renowned universities and institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and more.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of The Post,” said Brian Rosenwald, historian at UPenn and Made by History’s Editor-in-Chief. “We believe that our contributors will add a unique level of insight and expertise to the ongoing political discussion that many of The Post’s pieces currently generate.”

I am glad that the folks at “Made by History” are writing for a public audience.  This has the potential to be a great blog.  I know that I will read it and comment on it regularly here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.

The editors write: “The blog will feature commentary from 75 historians from nationally renowned universities and institutions including Harvard University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and more.”  Not sure what to make of this sentence.  I just hope the writers don’t end up preaching to the choir.

Read a “welcome” post by the editors here.

 

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. This May Be the Best Thing I Have Read on Trump
  2. Barton: God Brings Bad Weather Because of Abortion
  3. What Pope Francis Really Said on the Plane Yesterday
  4. No One in New York Yelled “You’re Erasing History” When the Statue of George III Was Torn Down in 1776
  5. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: Bernie Sanders Should Apologize or Resign
  6. A Question for Court Evangelicals:  Are You Following Machiavelli or Christ?
  7. Four Myths About Slavery
  8. Does Bruce Springsteen Explain Donald Trump?
  9. Are Your Kids Going to Vacation Bible School This Summer?
  10. Welcome New Readers

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1.  This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  2.  What Pope Francis Really Said on the Plane Yesterday
  3.  When Did the Confederate Flag Become a Racist Symbol?
  4.  We are the #19Percent
  5.  The Controversial Jonathan Haidt
  6.  Harvard Finance Professor: We Need the Humanities
  7.  Does Bruce Springsteen Explain Donald Trump?
  8.  The Author’s Corner With Doug Winiarski
  9.  What is Bernie Sanders Doing?
  10.  The Amazing Juanita Jones Abernathy

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read on TrumpThis May Be The Best Thing I Have Read on Trump
  2. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: “Why don’t we ever hear terrorists shout ‘this is for Jesus Christ'”
  3. Chaplin vs. Cruz: Part 2
  4. Richard Bernstein Weighs-In on the Chaplin-Cruz Dust-Up
  5. How Did Your Church Celebrate Pentecost Sunday?
  6. Primary Sources for a Future History Class
  7. Joyce Chaplin vs. Ted Cruz
  8. Writing Online as Public Scholarship: A Success Story
  9. Trump to Mainline Protestant Pastors: “But you’re all Christians?”
  10. Should Mississippi Remove the Confederate Emblem on its Flag?

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Daniel Walker Howe Goes There
  2. The Task of the History Teaching in the Age of Trump
  3. This May Be The Best Thing I Have Read On Trump
  4. Utah Senator Mike Lee’s Failed Attempt at American History
  5. The Way of Improvement Leads to a Wedding
  6. Why Aren’t Mainline Protestant Religious Leaders More Famous?
  7. Ben Sasse’s New Book
  8. Getting the Band Back Together to Discuss the State of the Evangelical Mind
  9. What An Academic Job Search Is Really Like
  10. “Lost Cause” Enthusiasts Should Read Alexander Stephens’s “Cornerstone” Speech

Historians: Take Notes!

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Check out Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez‘s piece at The Chronicle of Higher Education on historians, archivists, and scholars who are taking notes, keeping journals, tweeting, and blogging about the age of Trump.

As part of the story Fernanda Zamudio interviewed Rebecca Erbelding of the United States Holocaust Memoral Museum, Ari Kohen of the University of Nebraska (and the author of “Trump Watch” blog),  Chris Prom of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Melanie Newport of the University of Connecticut at Hartford.

Here is a taste:

History is made every day, but there’s no doubt that this November something changed for Ms. Erbelding. Now, she says, she feels like she’s living in “extraordinary times” worth journaling about.

“There did seem to be a more palpable sense, at least to me, of, ‘I am actually living through history,’” Ms. Erbelding said. “It felt different. And I guess I’m going to try to keep it up until it stops feeling different.”

She knows that the Library of Congress is working to archive Twitter, but Ms. Erbelding said there’s also value in people taking note of how specific political actions and policy changes make them feel. She’s careful to note that she doesn’t journal every day, but knows that documenting moments that feel personally important is significant for future scholars. It’s this type of documentation, written or typed on one-sided paper, that she could see archivists and historians using for displays in future museum exhibits, she said.

Read the entire article here.

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Confessions of a Lonely Christian Historian
  2. Don’t Know Much About History
  3. Messiah College is One of the Best Places in the Nation to Prepare to be a History Teacher
  4. Using and Abusing History to Make a Political Point
  5. Today’s Caption Contest
  6. The Discipline of History as a Spiritual Discipline
  7. Johnson, Not Jackson
  8. The Wall Street Journal Weighs-In on the Duke Divinity School Controversy
  9. Stop Reading in Bed!
  10. Christian School Will Not Let Pregnant Teen Walk With Her Classmates at Graduation

 

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Home:

  1. A Very Important History Lesson for the Court Evangelicals
  2. Court Evangelical Jerry Falwell on Trump’s Commencement Address: “I think it will go down in history as one of the greatest commencement speeches ever.”
  3. Becoming the Evangelical Notre Dame Can Get Expensive
  4. Morning Headlines
  5. More Constitutional Craziness from David Barton
  6. Michael Gerson Explains the Court Evangelicals
  7. Was Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life?
  8. Confederate Monuments: “Relics of a bygone era” or “indicators of the one we’re still living in?”
  9. The Court Evangelicals Man the Battle Stations
  10. The Court Evangelicals

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Rod Dreher Published E-Mails from Duke Divinity School Controversy
  2. What is Going on at Duke Divinity School?
  3. The Court Evangelicals
  4. Thinking Historically About the Duke Divinity School Controversy
  5. Should Young Academics Be On Twitter?
  6. Trump Throws a Bone to Conservative Evangelicals. Now He Can Move On.
  7. Court Evangelical Robert Jeffress: “I Say Without Hesitation President Donald Trump is the Most Faith-Friendly President in U.S. History”
  8. The New York Times on Paul Griffiths and Duke
  9. Best-Selling Evangelical Book Makes an Appearance on CBS’s “Madame Secretary”
  10. Inside Higer Ed on the Duke Divinity School Controversy

 

Summer Internship Opportunity at *Black Perspectives*

Black

Here it is:

Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is currently accepting applications for our inaugural summer editorial internship program. The internship, which begins on June 1st and ends on August 31st, is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduate students.

About Black Perspectives

Black Perspectives is the leading online platform for public scholarship on global black thought, history, and culture. As engaged scholars, we are deeply committed to producing and disseminating cutting-edge research that is accessible to the public and is oriented towards advancing the lives of people of African descent and humanity. Formerly referred to as the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) Blog, Black Perspectives serves as the medium to advance these critical goals. Although many of the writers are historians, we provide a crucial online space for scholars working in various academic fields.

We understand African American and African diasporic thought in its broadest terms and encourage the use of interdisciplinary research approaches. We also value diversity and inclusion and welcome all scholars–regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, or any other social category—to contribute as long as the research is thorough and accurate in its portrayal of black thought, history, and culture.

About the Internship

Interns will work closely with the blog editors on a part-time, unpaid basis for three months and receive practical experience in academic blogging. Each intern will contribute to the publication of the blog in a variety of aspects including research, copy-editing, fact checking, and formatting. Interns will receive a complimentary one-year membership in AAIHS and waived registration fee for the 2018 AAIHS conference.

The 3-month internship offers young scholars an opportunity to sharpen their writing skills and receive personalized feedback on their writing. It also provides interns with access to a diverse network of early career bloggers (and professors), and the opportunity to publish their pieces on a popular academic blog. The internship is online, which means that interns only need access to a computer and internet.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled in an accredited academic institution; graduate students (PhD and MA students) and advanced undergraduate students.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who major/specialize in History, African American Studies, English, and Journalism. However, we will consider applications from candidates in a variety of fields including Political Science, Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, International Relations and America Studies.
  • Must be motivated, detailed-oriented, and possess strong writing skills.
  • Must have a knowledge base and keen interest in black thought, history and culture.
  • Must have an interest in blog writing and social media.
  • Must be interested in working with a diverse group of scholars who are passionate about black thought, history, and culture.
  • Must be willing to devote approximately 10 hours per week to assisting with the blog; and be willing to attend mandatory online training sessions during the week of May 28th and attend one-hour SKYPE/Phone meetings (generally once per month).

Those interested in the program are invited to submit the following materials to Profs. Keisha N. Blain and Ibram X. Kendi via email at aaihs10@gmail.com no later than May 25, 2017.

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. Historians Weigh-In on Trump’s Civil War Comments
  2. Evangelicals Defending Bill O’Reilly
  3. Evangelicals Fighting the Johnson Amendment are Missing the Point
  4. Brinkley: “The most bizarre recent 24 hours in American presidential history”
  5. Falwell Jr.: “Evangelicals Have Found Their Dream President”
  6. Trump’s Remarks Are Drawing Historians Out of the Ivory Tower
  7. Trump: Andrew Jackson “was really angry with what he saw happening with regard to the Civil War”
  8. Conservative Evangelicals and Putin
  9. Yesterday’s Twitter Rant on Trump and the Civil War
  10. Another Historian Tries to Predict the Future

 

Most Popular Posts of the Last Week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. What is Going on at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?
  2. What is Going on at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary?–Part 2
  3. What is Going on at Cedarville University?
  4. Southwestern Seminary Responds
  5. Did Fake News Come From Liberty or Harvard?
  6. Jim Wallis and Eric Metaxas Discuss Evangelicals and Trump
  7. Would Historians Care About Evangelicals if They Did Not Become Such a Political Force?
  8. Why Has This Blog Been Silent on Francis Fitzgerald’s The Evangelicals?
  9. The Southwestern Seminary Photo: Why It Matters
  10. “Meeting in the Middle”: A Report on the 2017 Meeting of the National Council on Public History”