Category: History

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
hauerwas-benedict-option

Theologians Were Arguing About the Benedict Option 35 Years Ago

Getting historical perspective on a contemporary topic of debate is always helpful. Dr. Christopher Cleveland’s essay for us on the trinitarian controversy last summer is exceptional precisely because of how successfully he tied the current debate to historical debates and...

/ March 13, 2017
benedict-option

The “New Alarmism” is not new and is not alarmism.

When asked about the Holy Roman Empire the French philosophe Voltaire once quipped that said empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. I had something like that thought while reading Dr. James K. A. Smith’s piece for the...

/ March 10, 2017
limits-of-policy

On Presidential Politics and Evangelical Cultural Clout

If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to circle back around to Emma Green’s review of Rod’s book while also linking it to Katelyn Beaty’s review of the same published earlier this week in the Washington Post.

/ March 3, 2017
henry-viii-donald-trump

How to Deal With Erratic Corpulent Ginger Authoritarian Much-Married Rulers: Options for Christians in Public Life

Note: Some of these Options are better than others. The Wolsey Option Through an excess of personal ambition, tie your whole career to the favor of an unpredictable and potentially vicious master. Lose his favor anyway. The Cromwell Option Facilitate...

/ November 18, 2016