Thinking About Ralph Waldo Emerson on His Birthday

Today is Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday. The Concord sage is one of the great figures of American history and one of my favorite New England religious thinkers. I always think of Emerson as the man who was willing to push that little bit further. Where Arminians and Unitarians stopped, Emerson jumped off the cliff … Continue reading Thinking About Ralph Waldo Emerson on His Birthday

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How to write a book about “X in American Religious History”

It's not as hard to write a book in American religious history as you might think. Feel free to use this handy template. Introduction- X has been important throughout American religious history. Chapter 1. What the Puritans said about X Chapter 2. What Jonathan Edwards (and maybe George Whitefield) said about X Chapter 3. How … Continue reading How to write a book about “X in American Religious History”

Superman and the American Christian Nation

Superman is renouncing his U.S. citizenship and Mike Huckabee is none too happy about it. Huckabee, responding to the comic book flap Sunday on Fox News, called it "disturbing" that the larger than life superhero would give up his citizenship. "Well it is a comic book, but, you know it's disturbing that Superman who has … Continue reading Superman and the American Christian Nation

Justice, Bin Laden, and American Civil Religion

As I sat on my couch scanning Twitter and listening to the President describe the killing of Osama Bin Laden, I realized that this was a high moment in American civil religion. Thanks to a couple colleagues here at Emory and our writing group, I've had civil religion on the brain lately. As the president … Continue reading Justice, Bin Laden, and American Civil Religion