This new blog feature harnesses the expertise of American religious historians who care about the cities of God and the cities of humans. It’s a space where scholarly expertise collides with the faith, hope and love of those of us who seek thoughtful reflection about our pasts to bear upon the confusing issues of our presents.
For close to 50 years, Americans committed to both economic growth and the daunting goal of “saving the planet” have placed their hopes in a highly stylized image of First Nations peoples. The “ecological Indian” has become the mascot of our eco-nation.
The whole time I was reading Robin Meyers’s The Underground Church, I couldn’t shake the presence of Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, and I kept trying to figure out why I kept writing “WB” (Walter Brueggemann) as often as “NB” (nota bene).
Early in his career Billy Graham was invited to preach at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Aware that he was speaking to critical liberals, Graham declared, “I’ve got it right here in the Bible.” Douglas John Hall was a student at Union then, and the budding theologian heard Graham speak. Hall thought to himself, “that Book that you think you’ve got would not even make such a claim for itself. . . . That Book at every point utters a polemic against the entire human project of possession . . . and (this above all!) the possession of Truth, with a capital T” (Hall, Waiting for Gospel, Cascade).