Anti-Judaism, Histories of Diversity, & the Present

Commemorating events that occurred #OnThisDay (or #OTD) in history has become increasingly popular on social media. This practice can also bring appropriate reminders of how that past intersects with our present. Historical events that occurred around the week of July 18th are particularly linked with acts of violence against Jewish people throughout history. Of course, … Continue reading Anti-Judaism, Histories of Diversity, & the Present

Bede, Star Wars, and Ascension Day

This morning I was pleasantly elated to discover a fact of the calendar and a trio of celebrations coming together. Today, on May 25, 2017 we get to commemorate three major events simultaneously: Bede's Day, the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, and Ascension Day! This is just a happy coincidence in the way that these celebrations fall in the calendar. … Continue reading Bede, Star Wars, and Ascension Day

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 3: Monasticism

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For previous posts, see Part 1 and Part 2.] When we think of the medieval period and religion, one of the … Continue reading Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 3: Monasticism

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 2: Biblical Precedents

[This post is part of an ongoing series, inspired by the upcoming presidential election in the United States, seeking to answer the question: What does the medieval period have to tell us about Christianity and political engagement? For an introduction to the series, and some general examples, see Part 1; for the next post in the series, … Continue reading Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 2: Biblical Precedents

Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 1

I recently had a conversation with two of my pastor friends, Andrew and Rick, about the tensions between religion and politics, both in America and across history. A large part of this conversation revolved around the upcoming presidential election in the United States. At one point in the conversation, Andrew posed a question to me about … Continue reading Medieval Religion and Political Engagement, Part 1

Isidore of Seville & Old Media

Today marks 1380 years since of the death of Isidore of Seville (c.560-636), the famous sixth-/seventh-century Spanish archbishop and scholar. As a diverse writer, who synthesized ideas from the late antique world (including both pagan and Christian authors), his works were significant, influential, and highly popular touchstones for medieval thinkers. This British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog … Continue reading Isidore of Seville & Old Media

Supermoon Eclipse, Apocalypse, & Medieval History

This weekend, the End is finally upon us. At least, that's what some outspoken would-be prophets are saying about one upcoming astronomical event on September 27, 2015: the first occurrence in over thirty years of a total lunar eclipse of a supermoon. (The last eclipse like this occurred in 1982, the next is set to occur in 2033.) One … Continue reading Supermoon Eclipse, Apocalypse, & Medieval History

Literature and Culture: Reflections

In the June 8 issue of The New Yorker, a story appeared by Robyn Creswell (Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Yale) and Bernard Haykel (Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton) about reading the poetry of Muslim extremists (known as ISIS) in order to understand them. The tagline of the article suggests, "Want to understand the jihadis? … Continue reading Literature and Culture: Reflections