Category: History

Who’s Afraid of John Calvin? Answer: Thomas Jefferson

In 1822, Thomas Jefferson was enjoying a quiet retirement at his beloved Monticello. His family troubles gave him sleepless nights but he found solace in his correspondence and, as always, in his books. The former president’s mind turned over Virginia’s...

/ November 18, 2019

“Are You Alone Wise?”: Luther’s Answers for Today’s Protestants

A decade after he began advocating for reform, Martin Luther had become highly attuned to the fundamental issues at stake in the debates with his adversaries. Having made Sola Scriptura his rallying cry, he was forced to face the chaos...

/ September 3, 2019

The Protestant World of Shakespeare

By E. J. Hutchinson It is a monstrous waste of time to try to convince oneself, rocking anxiously back and forth in one’s pajamas, that William Shakespeare was a Roman Catholic—or a Protestant. It is difficult to imagine a more...

/ April 26, 2019

Book Review: The Life of Roman Republicanism by Joy Connolly

By Coyle Neal In some ways, Dr. Joy Connolly’s introduction to the formal study of Rome mirrors my own. “I began to study the republican tradition in earnest in 2001, at a time when the promise of rescue it offered—by...

/ February 19, 2018

Notes on Edgardo Mortara from a Protestant Onlooker

Last week First Things, as the colloquialism earthily says, stepped in it. The occasion for this unpleasantness was the publication of an essay by Romanus Cessario, O.P., arguing that the church was within its rights when Pope Pius IX abducted Edgardo Mortara,...

/ January 15, 2018

American History, Structural Racism, NFL Protests, and the Kingdom of God

I’m pleased to publish this piece from Michael Graham. It’s a bit meandering, but what it does well is define terms, place the debate within a broader context, and walk through the steps of the argument needed to understand the...

/ September 28, 2017

W. E. B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk–Chapter 3

We’re continuing our exploration of Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk today with a brief overview of chapter three. Chapter three may well be one of the most timely in the entire book. Though primarily about Booker T. Washington, the issues that...

/ May 30, 2017

W. E. B. Du Bois: The Souls of Black Folk–Chapter 2 Overview

One of the main points Du Bois is developing throughout his book is that, to quote him directly, “the defining problem of the 20th century [was] the color line.”

/ May 12, 2017

Polis/Counter-polis: On the Civic Benedict Option

October 2016 was a simpler, more innocent time. We were all youths, wet behind the ears; we look back at ourselves with a kind of bemused affection. Rod Dreher assumed, surely—we all assumed—that Hillary Clinton would win in November, that...

/ April 18, 2017
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Theologians Were Arguing About the Benedict Option 35 Years Ago

There’s been quite a bit of controversy lately. Perhaps you’ve heard about it. The uproar surrounds a set of proposals regarding the state of American society and the character of the church in its midst. Let me give you some...

/ March 13, 2017