The Times story does a decent job summarizing the debate, in which the overarching question is posed by historian David Hollinger (interviewed by the Century last year): Did liberal Protestants of midcentury win the culture war but lose the church?
If Americans of a certain age know anything about Puritanism, it is probably because they read something by the (atheist) historian Edmund S. Morgan, the great Yale scholar who died July 8. His bookThe Puritan Dilemma—which used the life of John Winthrop to describe the Puritans’ religious and political project in America—was widely assigned in high schools and colleges.
I had the good fortune decades ago to take a graduate class from Morgan on American colonial history.
Attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt are spiraling out of control, according to Bishop Angaelos, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom. These attacks have been fueled by inflammatory rumors that Christians are building new churches in Egypt and that Christians and Muslims have engaged in affairs. In one instance, a 70-year-old man was stripped and paraded naked through the streets of Minya before he was killed. Coptic churches and the homes of Coptic Christians have been torched. Lack of local law enforcement, says Bishop Angaelos, gives license to more attacks by radicals (Christian Today, July 25).