About 15 years ago a proposal to eliminate the Th.D. degree was brought before a Harvard Divinity School faculty meeting. Those favoring the proposal argued that the degree is anachronistic and offered by few graduate schools.
What was life like for Kentucky slaves who lived so close to the Ohio River that they could see freedom’s shore? What distinctive anxieties plagued their masters? What special opportunities existed for local abolitionists?
A good biography, expertly researched and finely crafted, conveys not just the trajectory of someone’s life but also a feeling for the era in which the person lived. This superb telling of the “still far from finished” life of William Sloane Coffin is just such an accomplishment.
Marvin Ellison introduces his treatment of same-sex marriage not with a consideration of the history or theology of the Christian practice of marriage, but with a wide-ranging account of marriage law and social theory.