SOURCE: New York Times
Linda King Newell, 82, Pioneering Feminist Mormon Historian
Newell was briefly blacklisted by the leadership of the LDS Church for her work on Emma Smith, the first wife of founder Joseph Smith, which portrayed women as influential in the early church before being sidelined by an increasingly patriarchal institution.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Review of Books
Review: David Sehat on the Struggle to Make a Secular America
by Johann N. Neem
In "This Earthly Frame," Sehat examines the way that activists in the 20th Century pushed the nation from an implicit privileging of Protestant Christianity toward a posture of "negative secularism" that separated the functions of government from doctrinal belief, and the transience of that victory.
SOURCE: Religion Dispatches
Breaking Up With Marilynne Robinson Over the Dark Side of Puritanism
by Peter Laarman
A minister and activist argues that the novelist and essayist's defense of the New England Puritans as prototypical human rights heroes ignores the very clear limits that historians have identified for Puritanism's conceptions of social belonging.
SOURCE: The Editorial Board
Abortion Historian Gillian Frank on Religious Leaders who Once Helped Women End Pregnancies
Faced with the toll of injury and death from their congregants desperately seeking illegal abortions, individual priests, ministers and rabbis in significant numbers were an unlikely but important source of help in obtaining safe abortion before Roe.
John Fea Interviews David Sehat on American Secularism
"American secularism was the result of a layered religious conflict in the 20th century that played out in the courts and that left the U.S. Supreme Court with no option but the adoption of a secular order as a condition of social peace and political equality."
SOURCE: Deseret News
Is Putin a New Constantine?
by Daniel Gullotta
"In short, Putin seems to strike some conservatives as a new Constantine for a new Christendom standing against progressive totalitarianism."
How Christian Nationalism Drove Insurrection: A Religious History of Jan. 6
by Kathryn Joyce
Religion scholars Anthea Butler and Peter Manseau offer insight into the convergence of nationalism and religious fervor that contributed to the widespread sense on the right that violence was necessary to thwart the great evil of Biden's election.
SOURCE: Uncivil Religion
Uncivil Religion: A Collaborative Effort to Understand January 6, 2021
Historians including Kristin Du Mez and Matthew Gabriele contribute to a new collaborative project analyzing the flood of digital imagery associated with the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and the election results.
SOURCE: Editorial Board
Should Your Taxes Fund Religious Schools? Why SCOTUS Might Say Yes
Christopher Jon Sprigman of NYU Law discusses the oral arguments in Carson v. Makin, and how the conservatives on the Court seem to be maximizing "free exercise" over "establishment."
SOURCE: Public Orthodoxy
American Orthodoxy Has a Lost Cause Problem
by Aram G. Sarkisian
"Scholars and other observers are noting the growing links between Orthodox Christianity and the American alt-right."
SOURCE: Religion News Services
Taylor Swift Takes a Familiar Path to Hell and Back
by Peter Manseau
"In its own way, “All Too Well” tells a story not unlike myths of yore. It dabbles not in mythology, per se, but in the so-called “monomyth,” popularized as “The Hero’s Journey” by the folklorist Joseph Campbell almost 75 years ago."
SOURCE: The Millions
by Ed Simon
"Hell’s tragedy is that those who deserve to go there almost never think that they will, while the pious shame-filled neurotic imagines those flames with scrupulous anxiety" – HNN contributing editor Ed Simon meditates on the American engagement with damnation.
SOURCE: Washington Monthly
The Deal of the Convert: What Public Figures Lose and Gain by Switching Religions
Celebrity religious conversions link the public politics of religious affiliation and the internal motivations of faith. Historian Rebecca L. Davis's new book examines three prominent celebrity conversions and how they shed light on 20th century America.
SOURCE: The New Republic
After Paine, Why Did American Secularism Fail?
by Chris Lehmann
Historian Leigh Eric Schmidt chronicles the decline of American secularism; the fate of Thomas Paine's looted corpse stands as a tidy metaphor for the mismatch of secular rationality with the desire for communal ritual.
SOURCE: Nursing Clio
Peering Into Windows and Wombs: Reflections on SB 8
by Gillian Frank
"Even as abortion opponents loudly proclaim they are acting by divine mandate, people of faith like Dr. Curtis Boyd remain on the frontlines of this battle for reproductive healthcare."
SOURCE: Washington Post
Has BYU Canceled a Leading Historian of Mormonism?
The Neal A. Maxwell Institute appears to be disavowing its previous connections to historian Benjamin Park. Is it because of his objections to some LDS leaders' positions on LGBTQ issues and masking and vaccination in response to COVID?
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
After Encouraging Conservatism for Decades, LDS Leaders Struggle to Get Mormons Vaccinated
by Benjamin E. Park
"This matrix through which this conservative, religious coalition views the world enables them to summarily and efficiently dismiss arguments that don’t match their beliefs."
Recessional: The WASP and God (excerpt)
by Michael Knox Beran
"We may enjoy the poetry of the fair sheepfold without believing in the shepherd himself. But when we come to the achievement of the WASPs, their public service, their standards of conduct, their faith in the possibility of regeneration, we find that it owed a good deal to their conviction that there is a shepherd."
SOURCE: Religion Dispatches
We've Begun to Confront Christian White Nationalism. But What About the Source Text?
by Dianne M. Stewart
Critics of emergent White Christian Nationalism too often stop short of a key point: the Bible's explicit endorsement of war, conquest and genocide back up an eliminationist political outlook on the right.
SOURCE: Religion & Politics
Why Is Critical Race Theory Being Banned in Public Schools?
by Leslie Ribovich and Charles McCrary
While much of the debate over so-called "critical race theory" in school curricula has revolved around whether the US is a racist society, it also reflects long struggles by Evangelicals to shape school curricula around a set of moral and spiritual values and against secularism.
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