History Archive

Big Picture History: A Review of Heretics and Heroes

There is nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering about Thomas Cahill's latest Hinges of History volume, Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World, but that is not why the series is so popular. Cahill's work is a high flight over the historical landscape with the occasional landing to meet representative and

Where Creationism Goes Wrong

If you’re not a creationist, the temptation might be to finish the title of this post with “on everything.” So go ahead. Say it aloud and you’ll probably feel better. In my recent article, “‘There is a book,’ but Ken Ham has no idea how to read it,” at Toledo Faith & Values (our

Beyond the Us-Versus-Them Narrative: A Review of The Undivided Past

In David Cannadine's "The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences," we discover a hopeful narrative which sees cooperation as the defining message of human history.

3 for Thursday: 3 Challenges for My Students This Semester

Every semester I have a laundry list of things that I want my students to learn. My courses are in religious studies, religious history, and philosophy (undergraduate and graduate), so there is never a shortage of challenges for my students. Regardless of the class, these three below are part of my guiding philosophy of

3 for Thursday: 3 Examples of Time’s Elusiveness

By “time’s elusiveness,” I mean the phenomenon of how we experience it. We may put events on our Google Calendar and it may seem like we have a grasp of time, but the reality is that time is vast—more vast than we can wrap our brains around. Consider the life of a gnat, which

Can Aronofsky’s “Noah” Be Epic?

This week I have a piece on Aronofsky’s upcoming movie, “Noah,” over at our local hub for the Religion News Service, Toledo Faith & Values. In it I look at early evangelical criticism of the film—which won’t release until 2014—and what it will take for Noah to be an epic movie. I’m not one to

Book Review: Book of Ages

What would it mean to write the history of an age not only from what has been saved but also from what has been lost? What would it mean to write a history concerned not only with the lives of the famous but also with the lives of the obscure?

3 for Thursday: 3 Things to Make Gilgamesh (More) Epic

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem that immortalized Gilgamesh, a ruler of Uruk (modern day Iraq) around 2500 BCE. The oldest extant copy (discovered in 1853) of the Epic in Akkadian is from 1800 BCE, though the stories likely pre-date that copy by several hundred years. The oldest recorded human epic, it is
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