In our gridlocked civic life, the secular ideals of the Enlightenment and the unbending stance of the religious right are both the blame, George Marsden argues.
Margaret Bendroth and John Fea both contend that Christians need to encounter the past in all its complexity and humanity.
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.
David Barton is what I call a “faux historian.” With only a B.A. in religious education from Oral Roberts University, Barton has written widely on American history, remaking it into his own image. He’s been called upon as an “expert” by the Texas Board of Education, the Republican Party and the likes of right-wing talking head Glenn Beck. Many conservatives love Barton’s historical revisionism, particularly his arguments that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that the founders did not share our notions about the separation between church and state. Mike Huckabee said he wished every American had to listen to a simultaneous telecast of David Barton lecturing—even if at gunpoint. Barton’s latest book, The Jefferson Lies, has drawn criticism from a wider group than the usual liberals and professional historians.
Amanda Porterfield details the degree of rationalist skepticism in 1790s America—and its demise in the face of a Protestant counterattack.
Sociologist Claude Fischer is unhappy with historians' failure to provide a grand narrative of American history.