560 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Christianity about their New Books
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Interviews with Scholars of Christianity about their New Books
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    James White, "Unity in Faith?: Edinoverie, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old Belief, 1800-1918" (Indiana UP, 2020)

    James White, "Unity in Faith?: Edinoverie, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old Belief, 1800-1918" (Indiana UP, 2020)

    Dr. J. M. White’s new book, Unity in Faith?: Edinoverie, Russian Orthodoxy, and Old Belief, 1800-1918 (Indiana University Press, 2020) discusses the Russian Orthodox/Old Believer schism. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Russian government decided, largely for reasons of state, to bring the schismatic Old Believers back into the Orthodox fold. This desire resulted in the creation of edinoverie (“unity in faith”), and a set of institutions that attempted to allow Old Believers to practice their pre-1650’s rituals, while increasingly subjecting them to the authority of the church, and by extension, the state. Dr. White’s book is a history of this edinoverie. Along the way, readers learn a great deal about the relationship between the Russian church and the state, and about the inner logics of a major religious schisms, whose lessons apply to Russian history and beyond. Religious history is often neglected in the history of late imperial Russia, and this book also helps to rectify that imbalance.
    Aaron Weinacht is Professor of History at the University of Montana Western, in Dillon, MT. He teaches courses on Russian and Soviet History, World History, and Philosophy of History. His research interests include the sociological theorist Philip Rieff and the influence of Russian nihilism on American libertarianism.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    David Hosaflook (trans.), "The Siege of Shkodra: Albania's Courageous Stand Against Ottoman Conquest, 1478" (2017)

    David Hosaflook (trans.), "The Siege of Shkodra: Albania's Courageous Stand Against Ottoman Conquest, 1478" (2017)

    Mehmet the Conqueror shook Europe to its foundations when he captured Constantinople in 1453 and, over the next decades, the Ottoman sultan continued his westward advance through the Balkans and the Mediterranean. But one Albanian fortress became an “unexpected bone in Mehmed’s throat” (xviii). David Hosaflook’s The Siege of Shkodra is the first English rendition of Marin Barleti’s 1504 eye-witness account of that standoff that includes the Christian victory in 1474 and subsequent defeat in 1479. The year after that, the Turks were in Italy (Otranto, 1480), though they would not keep it their foothold. This volume includes Barleti’s compelling story, essays that place it in historical and cultural context, and a number of Ottoman sources that corroborate or contrast with the Christian version. Barleti is also important today as “the first Albanian author” and thus an important national figure in the last century since the end of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
    In the discussion today, Professor Hosaflook explains the siege, its political and strategic importance, and the Albanian position between the Ottoman Empire, Venice, and the Christian West. He talks about Early Modern Mediterranean slavery, religion, and diplomacy. In addition, he discusses the military lessons we find in this primary source, and his own exploration of castle ruins. He also reflects on his scholarship and three decades of living in a rapidly-changing Albania.
    David Hosaflook is a professor of European History, Intercultural Studies, Philosophy of Religion, and Christianity. He’s also the cofounder and executive director of the Institute of Albanian and Protestant Studies. In 2019, he became laureate of the (first annual) ‘22nd of November Prize’ from the Republic of North Macedonia.
    Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel.
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    • 59 min
    Mark A. Waddell, "Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Mark A. Waddell, "Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Today on New Books in History, Mark A. Waddell, Associate professor of History, Philosophy & Sociology of Science in the Department of History at Michigan State University in beautiful East Lansing Michigan, talks about his recent book, Magic, Science, and Religion in Early Modern Europe  (Cambridge University Press, 2021). 
    From the recovery of ancient ritual magic at the height of the Renaissance to the ignominious demise of alchemy at the dawn of the Enlightenment, Mark A. Waddell explores the rich and complex ways that premodern people made sense of their world. He describes a time when witches flew through the dark of night to feast on the flesh of unbaptized infants, magicians conversed with angels or struck pacts with demons, and astrologers cast the horoscopes of royalty. Ground-breaking discoveries changed the way that people understood the universe while, in laboratories and coffee houses, philosophers discussed how to reconcile the scientific method with the veneration of God. This engaging, illustrated new study introduces readers to the vibrant history behind the emergence of the modern world.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 1 hr 7 min
    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    W. David O. Taylor, "Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts" (Eerdmans, 2019)

    Churches have long sought the arts as a vehicle to communicate divine transcendence and to form worshipers. In Glimpses of the New Creation: Worship and the Formative Power of the Arts (Eerdmans, 2019), W. David O. Taylor brings much needed clarity into conversations around the role of arts in Christian liturgy. 
    After framing the way our theological positions and ecclesiastical traditions carry with them a set of presuppositions and implications about the arts and worship, Taylor then devotes a chapter each to the "singular powers" of various artistic disciplines: musical arts, visual arts, poetic arts, kinetic arts, and more. Throughout, readers gain much needed precision and nuance that can guide them through a wide array of conversations about the arts across the Christian tradition. David Taylor is Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, and you can follow him on Twitter (@wdavidotaylor), Instagram (@davidtaylor_theologian), or visit his website. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 41 min
    Monique M. Ingalls, "Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    Monique M. Ingalls, "Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community" (Oxford UP, 2018)

    The choices that churches make about their musical style do more than simply change the sounds one hears in their gatherings, but actually form certain kinds of community. So Monique M. Ingalls, Associate Professor of Music at Baylor University, argues in her book Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community (Oxford UP, 2018). 
    Ingalls draws upon her original ethnographic research across five different forms of musical congregating among North American Evangelicals to analyze musical congregations at the concert, the conference, the local church, public events, and online spaces. Her study presents a new paradigm for congregational studies that is capable of taking a much more fluid approach to what constitutes a congregation. This study has wide-ranging implications for how to study religious mobilization and posturing beyond the strict, traditional institutional borders. Monique is also co-founder of the Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives Conference. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    • 46 min
    Roundtable on Medieval Conspiracy Theories

    Roundtable on Medieval Conspiracy Theories

    Join us today for a roundtable conversation with three leading medieval scholars about the phenomenon of conspiracy theories in history. 
    Michael T. Bailey, professor of history at Iowa State University is one of the world’s leading scholars on the development of the idea of the Witches’ Sabbath, the verifiable hysterical historical panic about a gathering of diabolical witches joined together to dance with the devil himself in order to spread evil power, a nocturnal festival capable of destroying flora and fauna. 
    Miri Rubin, professor of history at Queen Mary University of London, and translator of the first Blood Libel accusation in England, speaks on her historical forte: the dangerous, long-lived, and utterly spurious assertion that Jews ritually murder a Christian child to celebrate Passover. Emerging in medieval England and flourishing throughout the whole of the premodern era, the Blood Libel was responsible for another form or murderous hysteria.
    Sean Field, a specialist on religious life in medieval France, speaks about the creation of mystery around the Templars. This is a different kind of conspiracy theory, that develops later around a specific and very real event. King Philip IV of France accused the Templars of a laundry list of spiritual and corporeal crimes; almost all the accused were entirely innocent. Though there was much furor contemporaneously, there was no belief that the Templars were involved in some sort of international secret financial skullduggery. Instead that modern balderdash developed much later and sticks with us. Our conversation covers the appeal of conspiracy theories, how they gain traction, and how they might be handled. Though our discussion is based in history it has strong repercussions for the current political and cultural situation.
    Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.
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    • 1 hr 7 min

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