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religious history



  • A Scholarly Screw-Up of Biblical Proportions

    by Ariel Sabar

    The author of a book on the high-profile forgery of papyrus fragments indicating Jesus had a wife discusses how an article based on those fraudulent documents passed peer review. 



  • What We Believe About History

    by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

    "Understanding that beliefs have a history does not preclude a commitment to truths outside of history. But it does prompt believers to consider how historical forces and cultural allegiances may have shaped their own deeply held convictions."



  • American Amnesia

    by Jeremy Sabella

    The religious history of America shows a restorationist impulse to seek a return to an idealized past. Without reckoning with the totality of that past, the restorationist project dangerously eliminates accountability. 


  • Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith

    by Philip Jenkins

    Temporary climate catastrophes have been an understudied contributor to changes in religious doctrine and practice throughout history. These episodes may preview spiritual and communal upheavals as climate change progresses.



  • Baylor Professor Argues 'Biblical Womanhood' More Cultural Than Biblical

    Beth Allison Barr argues that contemporary Christianity's doctrines on gender roles in the family are influenced more by the historical claim to power by men than by clear scriptural dictate, and that there are numerous historical examples of differently-ordered gender roles in Christianity. 


  • America Does Have an "Original Sin": A Response to James Goodman

    by Joshua Ward Jeffery

    "Original Sin" is a fit metaphor for longstanding inequities in American society, but it's important to understand that the original sin is settler colonialism and the seizure of indigenous land, which American civic religion has been all too willing to accommodate. 



  • The American Exception: How Faith Shapes Economic and Social Policy

    by Benjamin M. Friedman

    Historian Benjamin Friedman's new book examines the importance of changing religious ideas in American Protestantism as influences on the development of social and economic policy. Part of the concluding chapter is excerpted here. 



  • The Story Behind Amy Coney Barrett’s Little-Known Christian Group People Of Praise

    Massimo Faggioli, a church historian and theologian at Villanova University, a Catholic school, studies these lay-led movements — also called “renewal” groups — that began popping up since Vatican II. While some are a source of spiritual energy, they may also reflect militance and untransparent leadership. 



  • In Search of King David’s Lost Empire

    The evidence of David’s life is sparse. Was he an emperor? A local king? Or, as Biblical archaeologist Israel Finkelstein claims, a Bedouin sheikh?



  • Black History Month has a little known Catholic history as well

    by Shannen Dee Williams

    In 1949, famed Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes celebrated Negro History Week (the precursor to Black History Month) with members of the Oblate Sisters of Providence and their students at the all black and Catholic St. Alphonsus School.