American religious history

Podcast

The Public Square and the Heart of Culture War

In this conversation with Dr. Benji Rolsky, we learn how the public square became the ideological focus of American liberal strategies in the 1970s and beyond thanks to the efforts of media figures like Norman Lear.
Podcast

Descriptions of Religion as Explanations of Religion

This week's podcast features Kathryn Lofton and John Modern on the entanglement of description and explanation, the importance of self-reflexivity, and answering the "so what?" question In this week's podcast, Kathryn Lofton and John Modern join Adam Miller for a conversation that hovers around the relationship...
Response

Can Religion Explain the KKK?

While Baker’s interventions regarding the need to take seriously the “religion” of the Klan is noted, I question whether she does not herself reinforce problematic epistemological and methodological assumptions about “religion.” Describing the story of the Ku Klux Klan as “lovely”, as Kelly Baker does in her interview with David Lewis, is initially perplexing. Fortunately, Baker goes on to clarify what she intends, ...
Response

Rebecca Rushdoony Once Condemned a Cat as a Heretic

Rushdoony, as he emerges in McVicar’s narrative, does not seem inspired by his own vision of biblical families. Rebecca Rushdoony once condemned a cat as a heretic. The eldest child of R.J. Rushdoony, an American theologian dedicated to helping Christians learn to build God’s kingdom on earth, Rebecca was mad the stray cat wouldn’t stay put. So she pronounced the cat damned, much to her father’s amusement.
Response

The Risks of Reconstruction

What do we do when our access to documents is contingent on our neutrality? How much of what we can say about the rise of the Religious Right is similarly hindered by restrictions of speech or limited by access to sensitive personal documents? This week’s interview with Florida State University Assistant Professor Michael McVicar highlights two important, but competing elements of recent work on Christian conservatism...
Podcast

Christian Reconstruction

Rousas John Rushdoony might be one of the most important Christian theologians you've never heard of. In this interview, Professor Michael McVicar discusses Rushdoony and Christian Reconstruction. McVicar gained unprecedented access to Rushdoony's personal files, ...
Response

Demons, Exoticism, and the Academy

demons and spiritual warfare aren’t something that snake handlers invented just yesterday, it is a major thread woven through the entire history of Christianity, and one that continues to be woven through it today. Something that strikes me about contemporary spiritual warfare is how it’s not so radically different thematically in its interests and its languages than a lot of contemporary American religion.