Writing months before the 2004 presidential election, Thomas Frank predicted that many members of the working and middle classes would vote on issues of culture, not economics. Being correct on this point won’t bring satisfaction to Frank, who begins and ends What’s the Matter with Kansas?
Evangelical Christianity is generally loquacious; Minnesota Swedes seldom are. My Swedish evangelical paternal grandparents talked little about their deeply held faith, and then only in sober tones. They would have benefited from reading Thomas Long’s groundbreaking book, the fifth volume in the Practices of Faith series.
I believe I had a rare experience in my doctoral program in theology. I was given a seminar on the art of teaching. Often the challenge of mastering a discipline is so great that no attention is paid to this main activity of the theological professor’s vocation.
How has a novel so erudite maintained its place week after week on the New York Times best-seller list? Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, both still in their 20s, give us a Da Vinci Code thriller with an Ivy League education.
Many of us have vivid memories of teachers who changed our lives. Whether or not we can say exactly what they did to nurture us, we recognize the hallmarks of transformative learning. One of the turning points in my own development was the result of a course for which one of the texts was Van Harvey’s The Historian and the Believer.